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2011 IC growth forecast pegged at 8.9%

Posted: 07 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC market  DRAM prices  large-sized LCD panels  CMOS image sensors 

Forecast mania
''SanDisk believes that 20-25 per cent of the notebook market will eventually be cannibalized by tablets,'' said Hans Mosesmann, an analyst with Raymond James & Associates Inc.

The outlook is bright for NAND. ''Smartphone NAND content is expected to move from 8GB to 20GB by 2014. In tablets the move is from 31GB to 96GB,'' he said.

''SSDs are expected to be a bigger factor as HDD replacement becomes less important relative to 'small form factor' NAND (MacBook Air-like products). Look for SSDs to be highly price elastic, particularly in 2012 as units increase to ~3 crore units (130GB content) from less than 1 crore units (90GB content) seen in 2010,'' he said.

''Interestingly, SanDisk sees the 128GB SSD price 'delta', vs. a typical HDD (1TB size), to close into the Rs.2,293.31 ($50) range from last year's Rs.9,173.23 (~$200) delta. Notebook OEMs at the Rs.2,293.31 ($50) price delta will move aggressively to SSD solutions and hence SanDisk believes 2012 will see an inflection point for SSD adoption, a dynamic we believe is tough to argue against,'' he said.

Rising sales of tablet devices coming at the expense of conventional netbook PCs will contribute to a low single-digit decline in shipments of HDDs for the first quarter of this year, according to IHS iSuppli.

HDD shipments in the first quarter of 2011 are anticipated to reach 16.09 crore units, down 3.9 per cent from 16.75 crore in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"Tablets like Apple Inc.'s iPad represent a major threat to HDD demand," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS, in a report. "Among the various computing segments in which HDDs are used, the netbook—with lower computing capabilities than either a desktop or laptop—is considered the most vulnerable to being supplanted by tablets, which do not use hard disks as storage media. And as tablet adoption gains momentum, netbooks will suffer even greater declines."

More forecasts
There are other mixed signals in the market. Pricing for large-sized LCD panels ''are continuing to decline in February in light of soft demand and rising inventories, but the situation could improve by April when brands increase their TV panel purchasing,'' according to IHS iSuppli research.

Prices of large-sized LCD panels, defined as those ranging from 10inches to 55inches in the diagonal dimension, are projected to fall 1.2 per cent on average across the product's three main applications of televisions, monitors and notebooks.

Price declines in the 1 per cent range have been the norm in the last four months, and panel prices as a whole have not risen since March 2010. In particular, pricing for TV panels fell throughout the period, while that of monitor and notebook panels rose slightly in October and November.


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