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System on a chip sales boom

The more you squeeze on, the better it gets

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Sales of systems on a chip are booming, a trend which shows every sign of continuing according to a report from market researchers at Cahners In-Stat.

Communications chips are the driver behind the market, and will account for 576 million units by 2004, the company said. In-Stat is forecasting a 31 per cent average annual market growth, which will reach 1.3 billion units by 2001.

It found that total unit sales more than doubled in 1998 to 345 million, from the 160 million units sold in 1998. Shrinking die sizes have meant that more can be squeezed on to the chip, which in turn has fuelled growth in the market.

Max Baron, a principle analyst at In-Stat said that SOCs would become increasingly important in many industries, as the challenges facing engineers became more complex.

"They [the engineers] must have efficient access to designs that have been previously tested. SOC projects typically encompass several technical disciplines, so the more designs that can be reused, the more efficient the process," he said. ®

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