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The Road Ahead: A Forecast for the Semiconductor Industry in 2024
2024.01.26

The Road Ahead: A Forecast for the Semiconductor Industry in 2024

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Embarking on the journey into 2024, the semiconductor industry anticipates a transformative year marked by innovation and growth. This article discusses the trends and predictions projected to shape the semiconductor landscape, defining the broader industry's growth and potential breakthroughs in the coming months.


Anticipated 20% Surge Fueled by Rising Artifical Intelligence (AI) Demand

In 2024, the semiconductor market is set for a remarkable resurgence, with an anticipated annual growth rate exceeding 20%. This optimistic outlook is anchored in the gradual recovery of smartphone demand and the escalating need for AI chips, as highlighted by IDC. [1] Simultaneously, transformative changes are underway on the global business landscape. Gartner's projections indicate a paradigm shift, with a substantial 80% of companies worldwide expected to seamlessly integrate generative AI into their operations by 2026 — a remarkable leap from 5% recorded in 2023. This shift is emblematic of a broader industry trend, embraced by technology giants like Microsoft and Amazon, both gearing up to expand their AI services. 

"AI will be installed in smartphones and PCs. Generative AI-related investment will revitalise and significantly boost the growth of the semiconductor market," said Akira Minamikawa of Omdia, as reported by Nikkei Asia. [2]


Advanced Semiconductor Packaging Takes Centre Stage

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Source: Precedence Research

A significant expansion is anticipated in the dynamic landscape of the global semiconductor packaging market, reaching an approximate valuation of USD 50.13 billion by 2029. [3] This growth trajectory is expected to be steered by the ascension of advanced packaging techniques, notably through-silicon via (TSV), fan-out wafer-level packaging (FOWLP), and fan-in wafer-level packaging (FIWLP). These techniques are set to garner increased attention, propelling market growth by offering higher performance, smaller form factors, and enhanced power efficiency.

Singapore's Silicon Box, a burgeoning semiconductor startup, recently secured a substantial USD 200 million in Series B funding, accentuating the industry's confidence in advanced packaging technologies. Notably, the United States government's injection of approximately USD 3 billion into the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program is geared towards fostering leadership in this transformative domain. [4]


Pursuit of Semiconductor Resilience

Stimulated by governmental support and various incentives, China is anticipated to enhance its contribution to the global semiconductor production landscape. Forecasts indicate that Chinese chip manufacturers will initiate 18 projects in 2024. This endeavor is expected to result in a year-on-year (YoY) capacity growth of 13% in 2024. Meanwhile, Taiwan is set to maintain its position as the second-largest region in semiconductor capacity achieve up to 5.7 million wafers per month (wpm) in 2024. The region is set to operationalise five fabrication plants (fabs) in the upcoming year, emphasising its commitment to semiconductor production.

South Korea, securing the third position in chip capacity, is estimated to reach 5.1 million wpm in 2024. This growth, amounting to 5.4%, is attributed to the initiation of a new fab. Japan, expected to occupy the fourth position, anticipates a marginal increase to 4.7 million wpm in 2024. This 2% capacity growth aligns with the commencement of operations for four fabs in 2024. [5]


ADAS Driving Automotive Semiconductor Market

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A live map in Mapbox's latest Autopilot system (Source: mapbox)

In recent times, key milestone in the automotive sector is the advent of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), emphasising safety enhancement, and fundamentally altering the driving experience. ADAS comprises a suite of cutting-edge technologies meticulously crafted to aid drivers in various scenarios, ranging from collision avoidance and automatic parking to adaptive cruise control and lane departure warnings. These interconnected ADAS systems collectively contribute to forging a safer and more efficient driving environment.

The unveiling of the latest advancements in ADAS took centre stage at the CES 2024 event in Las Vegas, a showcase of cutting-edge innovations in AI, sustainability, and mobility. Among the standout contributors was Mapbox, a prominent automotive location platform. At CES 2024, Mapbox introduced a deep integration for ADAS L2+ across its Autopilot Map, 3D Live Navigation, and MapGPT technologies. This integration marks a significant stride, rendering current and future assisted driving systems more intelligent, safer, and user-friendly, offering extensive hands-free driving coverage. [6]

Further affirming the industry's commitment to advancing automotive technologies, Qualcomm Technologies made significant announcements at CES 2024. Leveraging the Snapdragon Digital Chassis platform, Qualcomm introduced a range of automotive products designed to support next-generation digital cockpits, connected car technologies, connected services, advanced driver assistance, and automated driving systems. [7]

According to The Insight Partners, the ADAS market is poised for substantial growth, estimated to exhibit a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25.4% from 2022 to 2028. This underlines the accelerating pace of innovation and adoption of ADAS and its driving force in the automotive sector. [8]


Memory Market Poised for a Comeback

There has been a persistent decline in the demand for various storage and memory technologies post-pandemic, affecting consumer, client, and server applications. In response, many manufacturers have cut down production to exercise control over costs. Since April 2023, industry leader, Samsung, has been implementing measures to curtail chip production. This involves significant reductions in wafer input for legacy chips like DDR4 DRAM and 128-layer NAND flash. While maintaining the existing output cut for DRAM chips, Samsung announced plans to augment its production volume and investment in advanced chips in 2024, notably high bandwidth memory (HBM) DRAM, which can be up to 10 times more expensive than commoditised DRAM chips. [9]

In a parallel move, Samsung's competitor, SK hynix, is taking proactive steps in 2024 to bolster its investment in the HBM series of DRAM chips. This strategic move is aimed at sustaining its leadership in the HBM category. Reports suggest that SK hynix has allocated a substantial amount of KRW 10 trillion in facility investment for this year. This represents a notable increase, ranging from 43% to 67%, compared to the estimated capital expenditures of KRW 6 to 7 trillion. These strategic maneuvers are anticipated to contribute to a potential rise in the prices of memory chips, fostering sales growth. [10]


Building Supply Chain Resilience is Still the Key 

As we delve into the narrative of 2024, the semiconductor industry finds itself at a crossroads of unprecedented breakthroughs and remarkable growth. While the year holds great promise, it's crucial to emphasise the importance of resilience and robust supply chain strategies, navigating uncertainties with a vigilant approach. Join us in staying connected for an in-depth exploration of the dynamic developments and invaluable insights shaping the intricate landscape of the semiconductor realm throughout the unfolding year.



References:

[1] The Semiconductor Market Will Recover in 2024 With an Annual Growth Rate of 20%, Says IDC, IDC, 2023

[2] Global chip demand to rise by 2nd quarter of 2024, experts say, Nikkei Asia, 2024

[3] Semiconductor Packaging Market Size to Surpass USD 65.46 Billion By 2032, Yahoo Finance, 2023

[4] CHIPS for America Releases Vision for Approximately $3 Billion National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, NIST, 2023

[5] GLOBAL SEMICONDUCTOR CAPACITY PROJECTED TO REACH RECORD HIGH 30 MILLION WAFERS PER MONTH IN 2024, SEMI REPORTS, SEMi, 2024

[6] Existing ADAS Cars Just Got Smarter at CES 2024 with Mapbox Autopilot Services, PR Newsire, 2024

[7] CES 2024: Qualcomm claims new era of mobility and inks Bosch deal for digital cockpit, Computer Weekly, 2024

[8] Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Market Worth $183.81 Billion by 2028 - Exclusive Report by The Insight Partners, Yahoo Finance, 2024

[9] Samsung to boost AI chip production in 2024, The Korea Times, 2023

[10] World’s No. 2 Memory Chip Maker SK Hynix Reports Surprise Profit, Bloomberg, 2024

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