KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15): Global semiconductor industry sales rose 26.2% year-on-year in 2021 to a record US$555.9 billion (about RM2.33 trillion) from US$440.4 billion a year earlier, said the US-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
In a statement on its website on Monday (Feb 14), the SIA said the industry shipped a record 1.15 trillion semiconductor units in 2021 as chip companies ramped up production to address high demand amid the global chip shortage.
It said global sales in the month of December 2021 were US$50.9 billion, an increase of 28.3% compared to the December 2020 total and 1.5% more than the total in November 2021.
Fourth-quarter sales of US$152.6 billion were 28.3% more than the total in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 4.9% higher than the total in the third quarter of 2021.
Monthly sales are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation and represent a three-month moving average.
SIA president and chief executive officer John Neuffer said that in 2021, amid the ongoing global chip shortage, semiconductor companies substantially ramped up production to unprecedented levels to address persistently high demand, resulting in record chip sales and units shipped.
“Demand for semiconductor production is projected to rise significantly in the years ahead as chips become even more heavily embedded in the essential technologies of now and the future.
“To ensure more semiconductor production and innovation are located in America over the long term, the US government must swiftly fund CHIPS Act investments in semiconductor research, design and manufacturing as part of bipartisan competitiveness legislation,” he said.
The SIA said that on a regional basis, sales into the Americas market saw the largest increase (27.4%) in 2021.
China remained the largest individual market for semiconductors, with sales there totalling US$192.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 27.1%.
Annual sales also increased in 2021 in Europe (27.3%), Asia-Pacific/all others (25.9%) and Japan (19.8%).
Sales in the month of December 2021 increased compared to November 2021 in the Americas (5.2%), China (0.8%), Europe (0.3%) and Asia-Pacific/all others (0.1%), but fell slightly in Japan (-0.3%).
The SIA explained that several semiconductor product segments stood out in 2021.
Analog, a type of semiconductor that is commonly used in vehicles, consumer goods and computers had the highest annual growth rate of 33.1%, reaching US$74 billion in 2021 sales.
Logic (US$154.8 billion in 2021 sales) and memory (US$153.8 billion) were the largest semiconductor categories by sales.
Annual sales of logic products increased by 30.8% compared to 2020, while sales of memory products were up 30.9%.
Sales of micro-integrated circuits (ICs) — a category that includes microprocessors — increased 15.1% to US$80.2 billion in 2021.
Sales of all non-memory products combined increased by 24.5% in 2021.
Sales of automotive ICs increased 34.3% year-on-year to a record high of US$26.4 billion.