The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said today that global chip sales hit a record in 2021 at $555.9 billion, up 26.2% on the year.
It has also forecast 8.8% growth for 2022 as chip makers continue to build up production capacity to meet demand.
"It's still really trending very strongly towards increased demand. We're just not going to get this kind of slingshot effect that we had in the pandemic," said SIA CEO John Neuffer of the much slower growth projected for 2022.
Sales in 2020 grew 6.8% over the previous year, while 2021 was the first year since 2018 that the number of chips sold exceeded 1 trillion, he said.
Major semiconductor manufacturers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Samsung Electronics and Intel have announced tens of billions of dollars in investments for new factories in the past year.
But Neuffer said the digitalisation trend ramped up by the pandemic would continue to drive demand higher.
"We think in the foreseeable future that there’s going to be plenty of demand for us to do very, very aggressive plant construction," he said.
In 2021 1.15 trillion semiconductors were sold, with the biggest growth among auto-grade chips that can withstand heat and other physical challenges, Neuffer said.
Sales for that segment rose 34% over the prior year at $26.4 billion. Unit sales rose 33%, he said.
China remained the largest individual market for semiconductors, with sales totaling $192.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 27.1%, the SIA said.