Worldwide revenues for media tablet and e-reader semiconductors grew over 2,000% to $3.3 billion in 2010 as semiconductor suppliers enabled original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring new products to market less than 8 months after the iPad launched, according to IDC.
With the arrival of Android Honeycomb, dual core processors, and increased bandwidth, IDC expects media tablet and e-reader semiconductor revenues to grow by 120% year over year in 2011.
"The opportunity for semiconductors in media tablets and e-readers has exploded and semiconductor suppliers are scrambling to bring to market semiconductor and software platforms to enable these products," said Michael J. Palma, research manager for Consumer Semiconductor research at IDC.
Tablets are defined by their connectivity, user interface, and battery life. Semiconductor firms provide the technology to enable these features, with touchscreen controllers and sensors providing the rich user experience; baseband modems, Wi-Fi chipsets, and related integrated circuits (ICs) providing connectivity; specialized semiconductors managing the battery life; and the overall device managed by application processors (APUs).
At 99% share of APU shipments, the ARM processor architecture dominated this market in 2010 and is expected to lose only a few points in 2011 as the MIPs and x86 architectures struggle for a role in the market.
Storage and memory ICs accounted for 40% of the semiconductor revenue opportunity in 2010, but falling prices for Flash and DRAM will drive system BOM cost reductions through 2015, leading these components' share of semiconductor costs to fall nearly in half over the forecast period.