The processing, sensing and communications semiconductor device portion of the Internet of Things (IoT) will be a rapidly growing segment of the total semiconductor market, according to Gartner. The research firm says that the specific Internet of Things (IoT) markets are set to grow by 36.2 percent next year, compared with the overall semiconductor market growth of 5.7 percent. Processing will be the largest revenue contributor to the IoT "things" semiconductor device forecast, at $7.58 billion in 2015, while sensors will see the strongest growth, with 47.5 percent growth in 2015, it says.
The processing semiconductor device segment consists of microcontrollers and embedded processors, while the sensing semiconductor segment includes optical and nonoptical sensors.
Gartner's sees that the autonomous vehicles will drive tremendous demand for new semiconductor devices silicon in the car. One example of how the IoT will transform an automobile is the use of predictive maintenance. Using small sensors throughout the engine, predictive maintenance allows for a better experience for the consumer while enabling tremendous cost savings for both the consumer and the automotive dealer.
In addition, LED lighting will be a huge volume play, both in lowering costs and enabling new services through its capability to connect, network and sense the environment.
The smart TV and set-top box (STB) revenue will also continue to grow, due to the increased need for processing and relatively expensive bill of materials (BOM) compared with a traditional embedded "thing".
Smart glasses and smartwatches also benefit from a larger BOM cost and will be in more demand as wearables become a bigger part of every consumer's life.