From 1970 to approximately 1995, the semiconductor market grew at a consistent 16% compound annual growth rate. Since 1995, the growth rate of the total semiconductor market has slowed considerably, to a more erratic 4% compound annual growth rate. When it reached the $300 billion level, in 2010, it was in fact a full ten years later than the pre-1995 projections.
Within the overall market, however, some segments are growing faster than others. Analog, in particular power management, is one of the faster-growing segments, averaging almost 2-3 times the growth rate of the industry as a whole.
Several macro-economic factors are driving this faster growth rate. One is the push for green energy. With governments mandating such things as the conversion from incandescent bulbs to off-line LED lighting, power efficiency has become paramount. Another factor impacting the analog growth rate is the exploding portable power market, such as cell phones, digital cameras, and other electronic consumer devices, all of which demand low power dissipation.