Global Electronics: High-Growth Products and New Markets

Published - Oct 2007| Analyst - Colleen Spiegel| Code - IFT063A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for electronics products has grown at an average rate of about 12.6% per year, from $1.4 trillion in 2004 to an estimated $2.0 trillion in 2007. By 2012, the global market is expected to reach approximately $3.2 trillion.
  • The sale of industrial products accounts for 39.6% of the total sales for electronics products. Other key sectors are computer electronics and semiconductors.
  • Historically, the electronics industry has seen competition between the U.S. and Japan, but most regions of the world (especially Asia-Pacific) are now rapidly accelerating their electronics manufacturing and electronics consumer bases.

INTRODUCTION

Electronics

Electronics perform a wide variety of tasks to make our everyday lives easier. They range from semiconductors such as integrated circuits, optoelectronics, sensors and discrete devices to electronics end products such as televisions, DVD players, video game consoles, set-top boxes, PDAs, cellular phones, cable modems, process control equipment, manufacturing equipment, powertrain electronics, infotainment as well as numerous other devices.

Electronic circuits mainly are used to control and process data, and to convert and distribute electric power. An electronic system can be divided into three parts: inputs, signal processors and outputs. A TV set is one example of an electronic system. It transforms a broadcast signal into a current/voltage signal.

The signal processing circuit then extracts information from the signal such as brightness, sound level, and color. The output converts these electronic signals into a physical form, i.e., a cathode ray tube that displays images on the screen, and speakers that broadcast the sound.

The global electronics industry can be divided into seven segments:

  • wafer materials and chemicals
  • semiconductors
  • consumer electronics
  • computer electronics
  • communications electronics
  • industrial electronics
  • automotive electronics
Wafer materials and chemicals are used to create semiconductors, and, in turn, they help create the electronics end products.

Semiconductors

The fabrication of semiconductor devices involves four steps: wafer fabrication, assembly, packaging and testing. Some of the materials used in this process are silicon wafers, photomasks, electronics gases, photoresists and wet chemicals. Silicon is the most common wafer constituent, and the photolithography and the connector deposition steps can be repeated hundreds of times to create a wafer that holds myriads of copies of the same circuit.

The wafer is cut into "dies" that are placed on a lead frame or other substrate. The circuit is connected with wires, and then encapsulated in a molding compound. Then a multitude of tests are performed on the circuit. Semiconductors can be categorized as integrated circuits, optoelectronic, sensors/actuators and discrete devices. Integrated circuits can be further categorized as logic, memory, analog, digital, mixed signal, application-specific or microcomponent. Semiconductor devices are essential in modern electrical devices, from computers to cellular phones to digital audio players.

Electronics End Products

Electronics end products have been integrated into every aspect of everyday life, whether a device is used directly, or is a product has been manufactured by or with modern electronics. End-product segments are divided into computer, consumer, communications, industrial and automotive. Key products included in the computer subsector are PCs, laptops, servers, workstations and PDAs. The communications subsector includes cellular phones, mobile infrastructure, routers, Ethernet switches, cable modems, WLANs and optical transport equipment.

The consumer sector is represented by TVs, portable media players, DVD players, set-top boxes, digital cameras, etc. The industrial subsector includes process control, test and measurement, military and aerospace, medical, security and industrial HVAC equipment. Finally, the automotive subsector includes safety, infotainment, body and powertrain electronics. There are strong growth opportunities and new markets in each one of these five sectors.

SCOPE OF STUDY

This report contains:

  • Descriptions of the various types of electronics products and technologies that have been commercialized to date
  • The current market status of electronics products, trends and forecasts for growth over the next five years
  • Discussion of the impact of demographic, economic and other factors that will drive future demand for electronics products
  • Identification of promising new electronics technologies and products still in the development and testing stages
  • Information about the leading manufacturers of electronics products.

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from manufacturers and users of electronics products and other informed sources. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources, such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases, to produce the market estimates provided here.

At the time this report was prepared, year-end data for 2007 were not yet available. Market estimates for 2007 were developed using interim (partial) data for 2007 where available, combined with data for 2006 and, in a few cases, 2005. Wherever possible, historical data through the end of 2006 were used as the basis for analysis and projections. However, for certain market segments, specific data beyond 2005 were incomplete or unavailable at the time this study was prepared. In these cases, 2005 data were used and documented accordingly.

Final analyses and projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with BCC Research's understanding of the impact of trends from an historical and analytical perspective. All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2007 constant dollars.

ANALYST CREDENTIALS

The author of this report, Colleen S. Spiegel, is a chemical engineer with a broad background in the chemical and electronics industry. Spiegel is an engineering consultant for several industries. She has been an R&D manager and chemical engineer for more than 7 years, and her expertise is in the areas of design and modeling. Mrs. Spiegel has worked in several areas of research and process development and was instrumental in establishing new ideas for several companies. She also is the author of, "Designing and Building Fuel Cells" (McGraw-Hill, 2007).

Mrs. Spiegel has a BSChE and MSChE in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida, and currently is completing a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of South Florida. She is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE), the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the National Association of Science Writers (NASW).

 

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