Consumer spending on smartphones and tablets and price rises for DRAM and NAND memory are going to push up the value of the world semiconductor market by 4.2% year-on-year to $320 billion (£209 billion) over 2013-14 and to $366 billion(£239 billion) by 2017, according to analyst house IDC.

The latest half-yearly update of its Semiconductor Applications Forecaster says it believes that inventories have now come down into balance with demand and that this will encourage the market to grow in the second half of this year.

"Lower cost smartphones in developing countries will make up an increasing portion of the mix and moderate future mobile wireless communication semiconductor growth. PC semiconductor demand will remain weak for 2013 as the market continues to be affected by the worldwide macroeconomic environment and the encroachment of tablets," said Nina Turner Research Manager for semiconductors at IDC.

Business boost

The business world is also expected to support the growth, as the big increase in data to be managed will lead to upgrades in communications infrastructure.

The largest percentage growth for revenues is expected to be in 4G phones, rising by 37.9% per year up to 2017, while wireless communications are also expected to show healthy annual growth at 5.2% and consumer items – media tablets, e-readers, Blu-Ray DVE players and set-top boxes – are forecast to go up by 7.5% annually.