| Order a report

Communications Semiconductor Market Forecast 2019-2024

To be Published August 2020
Order by August 7 and save $500

Authors: Bob Wheeler

Corporate License: $5,995

Ordering Information



Market Research From The Industry Experts

As a companion to our market-share report, our forecast report builds on years of data collection covering the chip-vendor ecosystem. This year, we restructured our product taxonomy to better match vendors’ segmentation and provide additional granularity. Our coverage focuses on processors, Ethernet ASSPs and adapters, and FPGAs.

"Communications Semiconductor Market Forecast 2019-2024" provides the detailed market information needed to sort out the complexities of this market. With this report, chip vendors, investors, and OEMs will readily see how big the mature product markets are and how fast the emerging categories are growing.

Communications semiconductor product categories covered in the report include 10-, 25-, 40-, 50-, 100-, and 400-Gigabit Ethernet components, FPGAs, embedded processors, server processors, and integrated base-station processors. This year we added a smart-NIC forecast, building on our years of tracking this emerging segment.

The report includes a brief text summary providing analysis of the data and a set of tables for more than a dozen product categories and application segments. The corporate license includes a PDF that permits printing as well as a Microsoft Excel workbook containing all of the data.

Make Informed Decisions

As the leading vendor of analysis for communications silicon, The Linley Group has the expertise to develop a high-quality set of market estimates. Our analyst team applies its extensive experience and network of industry contacts to deliver the quantitative information you need to make informed business decisions. Whether you are looking for a well-established vendor to source from, a vendor to partner with, or a rising company to invest in, this report will cut your research time and save you money. Order "Communications Semiconductor Market Forecast" today.

This report is written for:

  • Product managers and executives seeking to identify product markets in which to invest or divest.
  • Strategic sourcing professionals and engineers at OEMs and operators seeking information about pricing and other chip-market trends.
  • Investors and financial analysts seeking data to support investment decisions.

What's New in this Edition

  • Provides 2019 market sizing and revised forecasts through 2024.
  • All-new forecast for smart NICs, including unit TAM and merchant revenue by Ethernet speed.
  • New FPGA-segment forecasts for data-center and automotive applications.

As a companion to our market-share report, our forecast report builds on years of data collection covering the chip-vendor ecosystem. In this, our 14th annual market-forecast report, we restructured our product taxonomy to better match vendors’ segmentation and provide additional granularity. Our coverage focuses on processors, Ethernet ASSPs and adapters, and FPGAs. We outline both our quantitative estimates and the important assumptions behind them so that readers can better integrate our forecasts with other information they may have.

Server and Embedded Processors

We now combine server and embedded processors into a single top-level category, as some vendors don’t track which type of processor a customer uses. We divide total server/embedded revenue into three application segments: the server segment captures sales to server OEMs as well as direct sales to cloud service providers or their ODM suppliers; the networking segment comprises sales to network-equipment vendors as well as ODMs supplying communications service providers; industrial and IoT includes all other embedded-processor applications.

In 2019, the overall market for server and embedded processors grew a modest 4.3%. Server-segment growth is driven primarily by the expansion of data centers. Following a high-growth period ending in 2018 that was driven by cloud-service providers (CSPs), the merchant-processor market for server applications grew only 4.0% in 2019. Our forecast for server applications shows growth rebounding but not to pre–2019 rates.

Server and embedded processors serve a broad range of networking applications. We further divide networking into wireless-infrastructure, wired-networking, and security-equipment sub-applications. In 2019, the networking market underperformed the overall server/embedded market, dragged down by issues at multiple network-equipment vendors.

The industrial and IoT category includes a wide range of applications including point-of-sale terminals, casino gaming, kiosks, electronic signs, industrial controls, medical systems, imaging, printing, thin clients, and military/aerospace systems. Overall revenue from processors sold into these applications grew in 2019, outperforming the total market for server/embedded processors. In 2020, however, COVID-19 is curtailing demand and disrupting supply chains.

Ethernet ASSPs and NICs

We divide Ethernet ASSPs into product categories using data rate and product type rather than end application. OEMs and data-center operators often consume Ethernet controllers as add-in cards instead of chips, but our controller category includes all shipments regardless of form factor. That is, for NICs and mezzanine cards, we extract the value of the controller chip. The exception is our new smart-NIC category, for which we forecast board-level revenue.

Ethernet-ASSP revenue grew steadily as the technology displaced legacy protocols in diverse applications and evolved to include ever-faster variants. Whereas enterprise networks once dominated Ethernet chip sales, data-center applications drove recent growth. The total market for Ethernet ICs contracted 4.2% in 2019, however, as enterprise demand declined and some data-center operators paused deployments. Although our top-line forecast shows a growing market through 2024, closer examination shows our mixed expectations for different Ethernet speeds.

The hottest trend is the emergence of 25G, 50G, and 100G Ethernet, which ramped into volume in 2016. Whereas past Ethernet speeds have taken years to reach high volumes, deployments by hyperscale data-center operators are driving much faster growth for these new rates. These same customers will drive the 400G Ethernet ramp beginning in 2020, whereas enterprise (private-cloud) data centers will consume a mix of 10G and 25G Ethernet.

FPGAs

Our FPGA category includes most modern programmable logic devices (PLDs), which are based on lookup tables (LUTs). They span a broad cost and power range depending on application. We track FPGA revenue by application segment. In this edition, we added two new application breakouts to provide greater FPGA-market granularity: data center and automotive. We also break out the communications segment, including wireless and networking infrastructure. Other applications include test and measurement, emulation, broadcast video, consumer, industrial, medical, aerospace, and defense.

The overall FPGA market reached $5.7 billion in 2019, growing 4.2% over a record 2018. The communications segment posted the strongest growth, whereas the data-center segment contracted. Automotive grew, but it remains the smallest segment we track.

We do not expect the communications segment to exceed its 2019 level during the remainder of the forecast period. By contrast, we predict the data-center segment will deliver the best growth. The automotive segment was impacted by COVID-19 production halts in 1H20, but we expect it will rebound and post strong growth in later years. The aggregate of other applications has been surprisingly resilient in 2020, and we expect it will deliver good annual growth in 2021 and beyond.

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Introduction
Product Categorization and Report Organization
Server and Embedded Processors Use
Ethernet ASSPs
FPGAs
Forecast Methodology
2 Processors
Server/Embedded Processors
Server/Embedded-Processor Forecast Assumptions
Server/Embedded-Processor Forecast Accelerators
Server/Embedded-Processor Forecast Inhibitors
Server/Embedded Processors for Networking Assumptions
Server/Embedded Processors for Networking Accelerators
Server/Embedded Processors for Networking Inhibitors
Integrated Base-Station Processors
Integrated Base-Station Processor Forecast Assumptions
Integrated Base-Station Processor Forecast Accelerators
Integrated Base-Station Processor Forecast Inhibitors
3 Ethernet
Ethernet by Speed Categories
ASSPs for Ethernet Switching
100GbE & 400GbE Ethernet Switch Assumptions
100GbE & 400GbE Ethernet Switch Accelerators
100GbE & 400GbE Ethernet Switch Inhibitors
10GbE Switch Forecast Assumptions
10GbE Switch Forecast Accelerators
10GbE Switch Forecast Inhibitors
Gigabit and Fast Ethernet Component Assumptions
Gigabit and Fast Ethernet Accelerators/Inhibitors
ASSPs for Ethernet Adapters
10G, 25G, 40G, 50G, and 100G Ethernet Adapters Assumptions
10G, 25G, 40G, 50G, and 100G Ethernet Adapters Accelerators
10G, 25G, 40G, 50G, and 100G Ethernet Adapters Inhibitors
5G, 10G, 100G, and 400G Ethernet PHYs
5G, 10G, 100G, and 400G Ethernet PHY Forecast Assumptions
Ethernet PHY Forecast Accelerators/Inhibitors
Optical-Interface ICs
Optical-Interface Forecast Assumptions
Optical-Interface Forecast Accelerators
Optical-Interface Forecast Inhibitors
Smart NICs
Smart-NIC Forecast Assumptions
Smart-NIC Forecast Accelerators
Smart-NIC Forecast Inhibitors
4 FPGAs
FPGA Forecast Assumptions
FPGA Forecast Accelerators
FPGA Forecast Inhibitors
Figure 1‑1. Processor taxonomy
Figure 1‑2. Etherent taxonomy
Figure 1‑3. FPGA taxonomy
Figure 2‑1. Industry revenue of server/embedded processors by application, 2019–2024
Figure 2‑2. Industry revenue of server/embedded processors by networking sub-application, 2019–2024
Figure 2‑3. Industry revenue of integrated base-station processors by cell size, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑1. Industry revenue of Ethernet ASSPs by speed, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑2. Industry shipments of Ethernet-switch ports by speed, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑3. Industry revenue of ASSPs for Ethernet switching by speed, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑4. Industry port-shipments of ASSPs for Ethernet adapters by speed, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑5. Industry revenue of ASSPs for Ethernet adapters by speed, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑6. Industry revenue of Ethernet-PHY ASSPs by speed/media, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑7. Industry revenue of optical-interface ICs, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑8. Industry smart-NIC unit shipments (captive and merchant) by speed, 2019–2024
Figure 3‑9. Merchant smart-NIC revenue by speed, 2019–2024
Figure 4‑1. Industry revenue of FPGAs by application, 2019–2024
Table 2‑1. Industry revenue of server/embedded processors by application, 2019–2024
Table 2‑2. Industry revenue of server/embedded processors by networking sub-application, 2019–2024
Table 2‑3. Industry revenue of integrated base-station processors by cell size, 2019–2024
Table 3‑1. Industry revenue of Ethernet ASSPs by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑2. Industry shipments of Ethernet-switch ports by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑3. Industry average ASSP cost per port for Ethernet switches by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑4. Industry revenue of Ethernet-switch ports by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑5. Industry port-shipments of ASSPs for Ethernet adapters (MAC and MAC-PHY ICs) by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑6. Industry ASP of Ethernet-adapter ASSPs by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑7. Industry revenue of Ethernet-adapter ASSPs by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑8. Industry port-shipments of PHY ASSPs for Ethernet by speed/media, 2019–2024
Table 3‑9. Industry ASP of Ethernet-PHY ASSPs by speed/media, 2019–2024
Table 3‑10. Industry revenue of Ethernet-PHY ASSPs by speed/media. 2019–2024
Table 3‑11. Industry revenue of optical-interface ICs, 2019–2024
Table 3‑12. Industry smart-NIC unit shipments (captive and merchant) by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑13. Merchant smart-NIC unit shipments by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑14. Merchant smart-NIC unit ASP by speed, 2019–2024
Table 3‑15. Merchant smart-NIC revenue by speed, 2019–2024
Table 4‑1. Industry revenue of FPGAs by application, 2019–2024

Free Newsletter

Linley Newsletter
Analysis of new developments in microprocessors and other semiconductor products
Subscribe to our Newsletter »

Events

Linley Fall Processor Conference 2020
Coming October 20-22 and 27-29, 2020
Register Now!
More Events »