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Wireless Emerges as Top Chip Spending Area For OEMs

By - Source: IHS | B 10 comments

OEMs are now spending more on semiconductors for wireless devices than for computers.

IHS estimates that wireless chip spending reached $58.6 billion in 2011, an increase of 14.5 percent from $51.2 billion in 2010. Spending for computer chips climbed from $51.8 billion in 2010 to $53.7 billion in 2011. By 2013, wireless chip revenues will be at $72.9 billion while computer semiconductors are expected to nearly stagnate and land at $54.0 billion.

“Among the 10 segments tracked for semiconductor spending, the biggest market share, 24 percent, belonged to the wireless market, spurred by prodigious mobile handset and tablet sales exemplified by the runaway success of Apple’s popular offerings,” said Wenlie Ye, analyst for semiconductor design and spend at IHS. “Wireless will continue to generate the most growth during the next two years. A substantial portion of the segment’s increase will be due to rising tablet sales, although mobile handsets like smartphones will continue to account for the lion’s share of semiconductor segment in the wireless area.”

Due to the success of the iPhone and iPad, Apple is spending more on semiconductors than any other company. IHS said that Apple purchased about $4.6 billion in chips in 2011.

“The market for desktops and notebooks has stumbled in the shadow of smartphones and tablets, whose portability and computer-like features have usurped the position of the once-mighty PCs,” Ye said. Samsung was a distant second after Apple with $603.2 million, followed by HTC with $199.2 million. Total semiconductor spending among the industry’s major OEMs for all application markets in 2011 reached $240.6 billion, up approximately 5 percent from $230.1 billion in 2010, IHS said.

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  • 7 Hide
    memadmax , February 6, 2012 5:10 AM
    Hmm, lets clear somethings, shall we?
    It's because the PC market is saturated, with a recession, and little need to upgrade repeatedly.....

    Tablets/smartphones are PDA's... not PC's....

    As another poster here said "Computers are everywhere... but a microwave is not a PC"
  • 0 Hide
    aftcomet , February 6, 2012 5:39 AM
    The PC market better not slow down. But it looks like it is.

    1. AMD is all but giving up in the fight with Intel means slower innovation in processors when Intel gets a stanglehold on the market.

    2. Computers can already do what >95% of people need them for. Little incentive to upgrade.

    3. Focus on consoles with longer release cycles means more ports.

    4. Tablets are the new hot thing, especially when Windows releases 8.

    5. More focus on style over substance thanks to Apple.

    I think the golden age of PCs is over. The market as a whole is too fragmented for there to be a main focus on desktops. Which is a shame because there is still so much that could be done.

    I hope I'm wrong.
  • 2 Hide
    doron , February 6, 2012 7:05 AM
    memadmaxHmm, lets clear somethings, shall we?It's because the PC market is saturated, with a recession, and little need to upgrade repeatedly.....Tablets/smartphones are PDA's... not PC's....As another poster here said "Computers are everywhere... but a microwave is not a PC"


    And let's not forget the fact that wireless devices are practically given for free, and as computers in the 90s / early 2000, they're "not quite there yet" in terms of performance, all the more reasons to upgrade frequently.

    aftcometThe PC market better not slow down. But it looks like it is.1. AMD is all but giving up in the fight with Intel means slower innovation in processors when Intel gets a stanglehold on the market.2. Computers can already do what >95% of people need them for. Little incentive to upgrade.3. Focus on consoles with longer release cycles means more ports.4. Tablets are the new hot thing, especially when Windows releases 8.5. More focus on style over substance thanks to Apple.I think the golden age of PCs is over. The market as a whole is too fragmented for there to be a main focus on desktops. Which is a shame because there is still so much that could be done.I hope I'm wrong.


    I beg to differ:

    1. AMD is about an order of magnitude smaller than Intel. Whenever AMD is getting closer to Intel (or ahead - Athlon XP), Intel can just throw money at R&D and the problem is gone. AMD always relied on its ability to track new market trends and innovate (CPU Integration - On-die memory controller, AMD64, ATI Acquisition, there are more coming) to stay alive, and it certainly has to do it now, more than ever.

    2. HTML5 and hardware accelerated browsing and programming (OpenCL) opens the path for PC applications that will tax your system more. For example I was testing an HTML5 website with 1.6ghz 4 core cpu and performance was seriously lacking. Another thing is battery life, noise and slim-factor for notebooks.

    3. Even now, ~6 years after the introduction of the Xbox 360 + PS3, There are more than a few PC only titles that can bring even the most modern rig to its knees. Can't wait to see what happens when (more) modern DX11 consoles will be released.

    4. Then go buy some Microsoft stocks. Btw so far most companies have failed with tablets (except Apple and Amazon.. That's it I think).

    5. That was and is always the case for the common joe. People like pretty and it was only a matter of time before a company would realize how to make something pretty and prestigeous enough for people to be willing to pay for. There are some pretty notebooks and computer cases.

    The golden age of PCs is over, but I really don't think this matters much right now.
  • -4 Hide
    memadmax , February 6, 2012 9:17 AM
    doron, do you smoke crack?

    Whos ur dealer?
  • -3 Hide
    memadmax , February 6, 2012 9:28 AM
    aftcomet, the thing regarding AMD:

    I guess you're a AMD fanboy that was disappointed by bulldozer.
    Look, the thing about intel intentionally slowing down innovation because of lack of competition is a downright lie........ intel is a company, a company responds to demands by its consumers......... If there is lack of demand for higher and higher performing processors.... then that is what you get....... but that is regarding the "kiddie" processors... on the server side, where the REAL innovation happens(and carries over to the "kiddie" processors) there will always be a demand for faster and faster cpu's, and.... more innovation.....

    Now, this is the model that we work with regarding the innovation of new technology... And, so, AMD SEVERELY lacks in the server department...... hence, they are always behind the innovation curve, and will permanently be, unless they get into the Big Balls department of the likes of IBM/HP/PowerPC/Sparc/Etc etc...
  • 0 Hide
    aftcomet , February 6, 2012 1:47 PM
    memadmaxaftcomet, the thing regarding AMD:I guess you're a AMD fanboy that was disappointed by bulldozer.Look, the thing about intel intentionally slowing down innovation because of lack of competition is a downright lie........ intel is a company, a company responds to demands by its consumers......... If there is lack of demand for higher and higher performing processors.... then that is what you get....... but that is regarding the "kiddie" processors... on the server side, where the REAL innovation happens(and carries over to the "kiddie" processors) there will always be a demand for faster and faster cpu's, and.... more innovation.....Now, this is the model that we work with regarding the innovation of new technology... And, so, AMD SEVERELY lacks in the server department...... hence, they are always behind the innovation curve, and will permanently be, unless they get into the Big Balls department of the likes of IBM/HP/PowerPC/Sparc/Etc etc...


    Why do you automatically assume I'm an AMD fanboy? I buy the best processor, which has almost always been Intel.

    I think competition is key for any industry.
  • 0 Hide
    doron , February 6, 2012 3:08 PM
    memadmaxdoron, do you smoke crack?Whos ur dealer?


    How lovely, care to elaborate?
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , February 6, 2012 3:24 PM
    aftcometWhy do you automatically assume I'm an AMD fanboy? I buy the best processor, which has almost always been Intel. I think competition is key for any industry.


    hay look, out competition got a 20% preforance lead, we have to get a 30% or else
    or
    hay look, its 5% better than the last chip... you don't like it... you need power and... well... you dont have options...

    i agree with you, that its stupid to discount competition, especially consumer side where we get effed more often because far FAR fewer people really know what go into a cpu... what we do know is that intel loves to be first, and not first by a small margin, but first by a large why bother with anything else margin. and in that reguard all amd needs to do is force intel to get better... bulldozer on a single core was... well... not great, good enough if it was cheaper but not good enough for its price, but in multi core setting, it traded blows with the i7 in many applications and the ones it didn't all i can see is that they weren't ready for amd.

    imagine intel, imagine what went through everyone at intel when bulldozer came out... they have to be thankful they screwed up its launch and single core, because they got a multi core architecture that can tage blows with their better cpus, all thats left is improve the single core, wich will most likely improve the multicore also.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , February 6, 2012 4:57 PM
    When will wifi 'ac' come out, the successor to 'n'?
    I've heard it can do 1Gb/second.
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , February 7, 2012 8:23 AM
    +1. Growth only matters who make money. Growth in these new computing devices excites them.
    Anyways, I agree there's a lot of growth for wireless, it's the convenience for electronic consumer devices.
    I want to see a future where gadgets need not wires for power or charging, soon.

    memadmaxHmm, lets clear somethings, shall we?It's because the PC market is saturated, with a recession, and little need to upgrade repeatedly.....Tablets/smartphones are PDA's... not PC's....As another poster here said "Computers are everywhere... but a microwave is not a PC"