The global smartphone integrated circuit market is anticipated to witness surging growth owing to growing demand for smartphones worldwide. Increasing competition in smartphone market has further led to increase in the demand for smartphone integrated circuits. The fifth generation of integrated circuit is referred to as Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI). ULSI consists of more than 1million transistors. Developments in integrated circuits have shrunk the size and cost of devices worldwide. Further, increasing use of integrated circuits in tablets is anticipated to drive the smartphone integrated circuit market. Increasing popularity of smartphone in the youth is expected to contribute to market growth. Rapid developments in the Smartphone design and technology have increased demand for innovative integrated circuits. Technology advancements in 4G and LTE is anticipated to drive the smartphone integrated circuit market over the forecast period. Integrated circuits are used in smartphones for providing functions of amplifiers, oscillators, computer memory, time-counter and microprocessors, etc. Developments in Near Field Communication (NFC) leading to production of dynamic solutions for mobile ticketing, mobile couponing and access control may increase demand for NFC integrated circuits, further driving the smartphone integrated circuit market.
Smartphone integrated circuits can be classified as Dynamic Random Access Memory Chip(DRAM), Micro-Processor Unit (MPU), Digital Signal Processor (DSP),Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)), and Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM). Micro-processor Units and Digital Signal Processor are used in smartphones for multitasking. Digital signal processors are used to process or interpret different types of signals received. They convert analog signal into digital signal and back to enable smooth functioning of audio devices. An integrated circuit is categorized as linear or digital integrated circuit. Linear integrated circuit is used in AF (Audio-Frequency) amplifiers and RF (Radio-Frequency) amplifiers. Digital integrated circuit is operated at few defined levels and state over a continuous range of signal amplitudes. Increasing design complexity may pose a challenge to smartphone integrated circuit market. Regular changing market demand of smartphone applications and its design and size of the smartphone is one the restraints.
Key players in the smartphone integrated circuit market are Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Mediatek, Intel, Skyworks Solutions, Synaptic Inc. Texas Instrument, ST-Ericssion, Renesas Electronics, Spreadtrum Communication, Broadcomm, STM-Electronins, Infineon, Dialog Semiconductor, Fairchild Semiconductor International, Free-scale Semiconductor, Fujitsu Semiconductor, and Richtek Technology. Samsung Electronics offers a wide range of high performance smart card solutions for Java cards, mobile phones, electronic passports, transportation cards, banking cards, and e-commerce applications. The company also provides enhanced security through their smart card ICs for industries such as finance, telecommunication, and public services. Fujitsu offers IC for image processing, wireless solutions, graphic solutions, and power management. In March 2015, Intel introduced three IC as Atom x3-C3130, Atom x3-C3230RK, and Atom x3-C3440 for smartphone with LTE capability. Atom x3-C3440 will support Windows platform where as Atom x3-C3130 and Atom x3-C3230RK will support android-based smartphone. Skywork Solutions offers front-end modules & amplifiers along with power management ICs for GSM, CDMA, GPRS, WCDMA, EDGE, and LTE air standards.
Semiconductor manufacturers are increasingly adding applications on smartphone integrated circuit to increase its functionality. With increase in smartphone display driver, integrated circuit and touch panel called as Touch and Display Driver Integration (TDDI), industry participants are expected to collaborate with integrated circuits manufacturers for competitive advantages. In June 2015, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore announced that it had developed an integrated circuit that reduces battery consumption in smartphones. The tiny digital circuit integrates into the device and finds optimum level of voltage supply at minimum energy consumption level. The integrated circuit monitors power levels of other circuits in the smartphone. In June 2015, Xiomi announced adaptation of synaptic clear pad capacitative touch screen solutions and Synaptic Display Driver ICs (DDIC) for its latest range of smartphones namely the Note Pro and Mi Note. Freescale semiconductor offers various power management ICs for smartphone and tablets to maximize efficiency and battery life.
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