Semiconductor turnaround underway

Jan. 1, 2010
“Global semiconductor sales in the third quarter were above expectations,” said Semiconductor Industries Association (SIA; San Jose, CA) president George Scalise as he announced Third Quarter Chip Sales.

“Global semiconductor sales in the third quarter were above expectations,” said Semiconductor Industries Association (SIA; San Jose, CA) president George Scalise as he announced Third Quarter Chip Sales. “Unit sales of personal computers and cell phones--the two largest demand drivers for semiconductors--continue to run ahead of earlier forecasts. Meanwhile, demand for semiconductors for industrial applications--a sector that had declined sharply--showed initial signs of recovery. Sales increased in all geographic regions.” Global semiconductor sales are projected to be $219.7 billion for 2009, a decline of 11.6% from the $248.6 billion reported in 2008. However, SIA forecasts that sales will grow by 10.2% to $242.1 billion in 2010 and by 8.4% to $262.3 billion in 2011.

“The semiconductor capital-equipment market bottomed in February 2009, but has been in recovery ever since,” said Dan Tracy, senior director, industry research and statistics for SEMI (San Jose, CA). “Even though we are forecasting 53% growth in this market for 2010, keep in mind that 2007 semiconductor capital equipment sales of $42 billion were down to $29 billion in 2008. Semiconductor revenues were at their peak in 2007 and these levels probably won’t return until 2012.” The December 2009 forecast from SEMI put semiconductor capital equipment sales at $16.03 billion for 2009, with 2010 sales expected to be $24.49 billion dollars.

Also in consensus that the semiconductor industry is turning around is iSuppli (El Segundo, CA), who forecasts that quarterly year-over-year growth is expected to finally return to the semiconductor market in this last quarter of 2009 (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/370629). But just like SEMI, iSuppli cautions that even though sequential quarterly increases in revenue will continue into 2010, this growth will not be sufficient to lift semiconductor revenues back to pre-recessionary levels until the 2011–2012 time frame.

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