In spite of what some market analysts might believe, In-Stat/MDR reports that the application-specific IC (ASIC) market is alive and well and will continue to prosper in the future, albeit at a lower pace than history would have dictated. The high tech market research firm finds that product differentiation is responsible for this market’s health, and while design starts in the customer-specific, cell-based design segment of the ASIC market will flatten out and decline somewhat in the future, revenues will continue to grow. However, structured ASIC and User-Programmable Logic (UPL) design starts will continue their upward trend, without slowdown in the future. “All in all, when all the elements, or in this case design methodologies, are accounted for, design starts, for the overall ASIC market, will continue to slowly increase, that is the upsides will more than equalize the downsides,” says Jerry Worchel, a principal analyst with In-Stat/MDR. “The customer-specific, MOS cell-based market will continue to find use across a wide spectrum of applications, ranging from relatively low volumes of high complexity and high cost products to high and very high volumes of lower complexity and low cost products. While the classic MOS cell-based design methodology will continue to dominate ASIC market revenues throughout the forecast period, it will steadily be losing ground to two other ASIC design alternatives: user-programmable logic and structured ASICs, along with its associated variety of family members.” In-Stat/MDR believes that between the Americas, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific, Asia Pacific will be the most dynamic region, while Europe will be the most static.

In-Stat/MDR has also found the following with regards to this market:

  • Worldwide merchant market dollar consumption of customer-specific, cell-based designs, independent of complexity and/or functionality, is forecast to grow from $6,782.5 M in 2003 to $10,759.6 M by 2008, translating to a forecast compound annual growth rate, between 2003 and 2008, of 9.7 percent.
  • Consumption in Asia Pacific will grow at more than twice the pace of Europe and Japan and 6.4 percentage points faster than that of the Americas. Asia Pacific will also represent the only region to see future design starts, in this technology, continuously increase over the forecast period.
  • In the consumer-specific, MOS standard cell market, similar to other markets employing customer-specific, high complexity designs, high end communications and data processing infrastructure applications will dominate dollar consumption, but not necessarily in that order for every region.

The report, “Customer-Specific, Cell-Based IC Consumption: An End-Use Geographic Comparison,” presents comparative data analysis of customer-specific, cell-based product consumption, at the second-level end-use market level, for the four main geographic regions, that is the Americas, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific. This report compares data, for the geographic consumption of these products, both at the SIA-defined end-use market levels as well as one level further down, to applications such as networking factory automation, servers, cellular handsets and more. This report also includes a geographic comparison of device functionality, logic and mixed-signal. In addition, this report includes a discussion of the supplier base and its various supporting elements, such as intellectual property and the role of the fabrication-less provider and foundry. One last issue associated with this technology is also addressed and that is the difference between the reported values of this market per SIA definition and as reported by the WSTS and the true size of the market, as reported by the suppliers. To purchase this report, or for more information, please visit: