IDC has lowered its outlook for global semiconductor revenue in 2012 and 2013. Previously, the outfit expected industry revenue to grow 4.6% to $315 billion this year, but its latest forecast has reduced those figures to less than 1% growth on revenue of $304 billion. Meanwhile, the firm anticipated next year's revenue to hit $335 billion, up 6.2%, while the newest estimates are 4.9% growth with $319 billion revenue.

Additionally, the researcher has cut its five-year projection. Semiconductor revenue was expected to reach $380 billion by 2016, but the latest compound annual growth rate is set at 4.1% with the industry due to rake in $368 billion at the end of the window.

IDC lists various causes for its adjusted forecast, including weak demand for PCs, price deterioration in the memory market (especially DRAM), semiconductor inventory rationalization, not to mention the various global economic issues such as a slowdown in China, the Eurozone debt crisis and recession, Japan's recession, and ongoing concerns over fiscal cliff negotiations affecting IT spending.

The researcher notes that smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes and automotive electronics will continue to be bright spots for the industry in the coming years. Semiconductor revenue for the communications segment is expected to grow 6.5% on-year in 2013, with revenue for 4G phones due to expand more than 140% next year. The consumer segment, which includes tablets, e-readers, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players, is expected to grow 9.8% next year.

Earlier this month, iSuppli reported that 59 of the 157 leading semiconductor suppliers would see revenue declines for 2012, with overall chip revenue projected to fall by 2.3% (over $7 billion) this year. Qualcomm and Sony were the only two companies to experience major growth, with the former moving up several ranks to become the third largest chipmaker behind Intel and Samsung.