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Semiconductor to see sluggish growth in 2012

Posted: 01 Feb 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor industry  research 

The most beleaguered semiconductor segment will be the memory space, especially in dynamic random access memory (DRAM), with revenue projected to decline to 16.1 per cent in 2012 on top of a 26.8 per cent fall in 2011. And, NAND flash will see less rosy prospects this year because of additional capacity coming on to meet a surge of demand for the memory in devices like mobile handsets and media tablets.

In contrast, a strong market revenue driver this year will be the wireless communication segment, spurred by media tablets, smartphones and industrial electronics. For the semiconductor industry to revitalize, however, it is imperative that the core PC and peripheral markets experience a significant increase in demand.

The first half of 2012 is almost certain to be a challenging period for the industry, with negative growth being forecast for the historically slow first-quarter season. The industry will begin to rebound in the second quarter and then go on to a strong third quarter, as is normal for the business.

Foundries dedicated to manufacturing semiconductors as their main activity will continue to outperform the industry, while IDMs will have lower growth, especially as they have abdicated manufacturing in leading-edge technology—where the high margins are—to the foundries. The advice is for IDMs not to sit by idly and allow fabless or foundry companies to control leading-edge design or production on their own. Otherwise, they risk consolidation, which would have the unintended effect of providing rival foundries with even more opportunities for additional growth.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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