Between 2015 and 2019, worldwide systems revenues for applications connecting to the IoT will nearly double, reaching $124.5bn in the final year of this decade, according to the 2016 edition of IC Insights’ IC Market Drivers report. During that same timeframe, new connections to the IoT will grow from about 1.7bn in 2015 to nearly 3.1bn in 2019 (Figure 1), based on the forecast in the new 450-page report, which examines emerging and major end-use applications fuelling demand for ICs.
Figure 1 - New connections to the IoT
The report shows about 30.0bn internet connections are expected to be in place worldwide in 2020, with 85% of those attachments being to web-enabled “things” (meaning a wide range of commercial, industrial, and consumer systems, distributed sensors, vehicles and other connected objects) and 15% for electronics used by humans to communicate, download and receive streams of data files and search for online information. It was the opposite of that in 2000, with 85% of 488m internet connections providing human users with online access to the World Wide Web and the remaining 15% serving embedded systems, remote sensing and measurements, control and M2M communications.
Strong double-digit increases in the IoT market will drive up IC sales in IoT applications by a CAGR of 15.9% between 2015 and 2019 to about $19.4bn in the final year of this decade (Figure 2), according to the new report. IoT applications will also fuel strong sales growth in Optoelectronics, Sensors/actuators and Discrete semiconductors (O-S-D), which are projected to rise by a CAGR of 26.0% between 2015 and 2019 to $11.6bn in four years. The IC Market Drivers report shows MCUs and SOC MPUs topping IC sales growth with a CAGR of 22.3% in the next four years, followed by memories at 19.8%, ASSPs at 16.4%, and analog ICs at an annual growth rate of 12.7%.
Figure 2 - IoT semiconductor growth rates
In the 2014-2019 forecast period of the IC Market Drivers report, wearable systems are projected to be the fastest growing IoT application with sales increasing by a CAGR of 59.0%, thanks in great part to a 440% surge in 2015 due to the launch of Apple’s first smartwatches in 2Q15. Sales of IoT-connected wearable systems are expected to reach $15.2bn in 2019 compared to $1.5bn in 2014 and about $8.1bn in 2015.
Meanwhile, connected vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) are expected to be the second fastest market category for IoT technology with revenues growing by a CAGR of 31.5% between 2014 and 2019 to $5.3bn in the final year of this decade.