In 2018, the global IC design demand was affected by the slowdown of the smartphone market and seven consecutive years of declines in personal computers. Despite so, the global fabless IC design industry was still able to continue growth in 2018, driven mainly by the rise of emerging applications involved large-size high-resolution panels, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and 5G technology, which are shaping the industry trend from high computing efficiency toward high quality.

In 2019, the continued demand for driver ICs and high-efficiency computing power is expected to slow the decline of the global fabless IC industry, ushering in a new development stage of China’s fabless IC design industry. This report recaps the fabless IC industry development in 2018 from global and Taiwan perspectives, and analyzes key trends in 2019 and beyond.