Microprocessor market to top $100bn in 2021

August 27, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Microprocessor market to top $100bn in 2021
The total microprocessor market is on track to exceed $100 billion for the first time ever this year says IC Insights

Microprocessor sales are maintaining strength in 2021 after climbing 16 percent last year.

The Covid-19 pandemic drove up the world’s reliance on the Internet during the pandemic, driving up demand for microprocessors in home computing and high end mobile phones with large screens.

As a result market reseach firm IC Insights sees an increase of 14 per cent in the total value of the microprocessor market 2021 to a record $103.7bn. This is up from the 9 per cent increase that was expected in January. The firm has also increased its prediction of microprocessor unit growth to 11 per cent this year to 2.5bn units. The average selling price (ASP) is expected to rise by 4 percent.

The 2021 mid-year forecast also lifts IC Insights’ five-year revenue forecast for microprocessors to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1 percent,  which will put sales volume at $127.8bn in 2025 compared to about $90.7bn in 2020.

Cell phone application processor sales strengthened 34 percent in 2021 to $35.7bn with the ASP growing by 20 percent, partly as a result of the shortage of foundry capacity. The prices are also rising because of the integration of 5G modems, more 64bit CPUs on chip, higher performance in graphics/video cores, and accelerators for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced cameras with some capable of capturing 3D images.

The CPU microprocessor market grew 14 percent in 2020, the highest increase in a decade from the demand for home working and remote learning. 2021 will see a smaller rise of 4 percent to $48.4bn. Unit shipments are expected to be up 6 percent after an increase of 12 per cent in 2020.

However the shortage of foundry capacity hit the more price sensitive embedded market. Sale are forecast to grow 11 percent to $19.7bn with unit shipments growing 12 percent worldwide.


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