Analog integrated circuit (IC) also known as linear integrated circuit is a solid-state analog device defined by a countless number of possible operating states. The analog IC works over a continuous range of input levels as against digital IC’s having only two levels of input and output voltages – low and high i.e. binary. The circuit is used to process, receive and generate a various levels of energy as the device operates. Devices that require oscillators, DC amplifiers, audio amplifiers, and multi-vibrators always make use of analog IC, which is characterized by equal output and input signal levels. Linear IC’s are used for different functions that require variable output signal for radio-frequency and audio-frequency amplifiers. The mostly used linear IC is an operational amplifier (op-amp), which is made up of conventional analog circuit consisting of resistors, transistors and diodes. Analog IC’s are gradually being utilized in various LED lightning applications such as traffic light indicators, stadium displays, and data communication for managing power efficiency.
The global analog IC market can be segmented on the basis of its types, market environment, different industry verticals and geographical presence worldwide. On the basis of its types, the global analog IC market is divided into general purpose and application-specific IC’s. General purpose analog IC’s are utilized for multiple applications such as data converters, comparators, and amplifiers, among others. On the other hand, application specific analog IC’s are used to perform specific functions such as radio frequency (RF) transceivers, display drivers, touch sensors, timing control, Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) , and LED drivers, among others. By market environment, the market is segregated into merchant IC and small-scale IC fabrication companies.
Merchant vendors implement a defined set of strategies to retain their legacy in the analog IC market such as competitive price, special product design skills and extensive range of product sets, worldwide distribution and extensive range of support network. The new entrants are small-scale IC fabrication organizations, focused on a particular product category they deal with. For example, Taiwan Semiconductor deals with discrete voltage regulators, semiconductors, and op-amps. Richtek Technology Corporation (power management and LED drivers) and Global Mixed-mode Technology Inc. (power management, audio and switches) are some of the major players concentrating on explicit domains. By different industry verticals, the market is classified into automotive, IT & telecommunications, consumer electronics and healthcare. Geographically, the analog IC market in North America is currently driven by the rising avionic, infrastructural, and various industrial applications. The analog IC market in Europe is anticipated to be accelerated by the different automobile manufacturers with their product units in Europe.
The global analog IC market is expected to continue its prominence with its advantages such as diverse functionality and small size. The market growth is fuelled by the use of analog IC’s in dynamic application areas such as healthcare monitoring, LED lighting, collision prevention, and utility in automotive applications. Automotive leaders such as Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW and Renault are encouraging the use of analog IC’s to bring better automation in their electronic circuitry. A huge range of opportunities for the analog IC market can be seen in Asia Pacific due to growing consumer electronics adoption by the tech-savvy customers. Moreover, the rising penetration of application-specific analog IC’s can be seen in IC content of mobile devices and DVDs, among other consumer electronics products. Application-specific analog IC’s are anticipated to be one of the attractive segments for different start-up companies in future.
Some of the major players in the market include Qualcomm Inc., Analog Devices Inc., Maxim Integrated Products Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., STMicroelectronics NV, Infineon Technologies AG, Richtek Technology Corporation, Global Mixed-mode Technology Inc., and Taiwan Semiconductor, among others.