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Semiconductor ETF Investing 101 - ETF News And Commentary

Benzinga.com
0 Comments| October 27, 2014

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The Semiconductor Industry serves as a driver, enabler and indicator of technological progress. As environmental issues have become more of a concern today, semiconductor devices are being made to reduce power consumption, reduce heat dissipation, capture solar energy, create more efficient lighting solutions and so forth.

Manufacturing operations have shifted to Asia over the past decade, but since innovation remains largely within the country, the sector is one of the biggest employers of labor, with a corresponding significant impact on the overall economy.

The consumer and computing markets consume two-thirds of all semiconductors, which are increasing convergence between these two markets such that it is getting more difficult to identify which devices are computing and which consumer. (Read: Tech ETFs to benefit most on Apple's Earnings Beat)

PC market growth will be moderate in the next few years, more than made up by growth in mobile devices. Semiconductors for mobile devices have their own set of unique challenges: greater functionality and better experience at higher speeds and consuming less power. They also have to be priced lower. Additionally, a lot of the growth in the next few years will come from price-sensitive emerging markets, which is likely to pressure margins for players.

Spending on consumer electronics is not expected to be more than 2.0% this year (previous forecast of 2.4% was adjusted due to better-than-expected 2013 growth) and 1.2% in 2015. Unsurprisingly, emerging product categories like 3D printers, health and fitness devices, smart watches, Ultra HD television displays and smart thermostats will see the strongest growth (242%), albeit off a small base. Smartphone revenue (the single largest driver of CE sales) will grow 7% while tablets will see a 3% decline, according to the CEA.

The move to cloud computing and growing ...

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