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Gartner raises semiconductor industry forecast for 2009

01 September 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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Market research firm, Gartner has revised its semiconductor industry forecast for 2009, noting that the economic stimulus packages being implemented in many of the major economies are having a positive affect on demand. Gartner's latest outlook is for global sales IC revenues to reach US$212 billion in 2009, a 17% decline from 2008 revenue of US$255 billion. However, this is significantly better than Gartner’s previous projection of a 22.4% revenue decline for the industry.

Gartner’s latest outlook for 2010 is for worldwide semiconductor revenue to reach US$233 billion, a 10.3% increase from 2009 projections. However, the market research firm is remaining cautious on developments for 2010 as demand could fall.

“The fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter 2010 will be extremely important in shaping the annual growth for 2010,” Mr. Lewis said. “We are currently expecting the fourth quarter of 2009 to be slightly positive, in line with typical seasonal patterns, but foundries have reported they are concerned that demand may drop off more than seasonal in the fourth quarter, and it may carry into first quarter 2010. Gartner ‘s most likely scenario is calling for a negative 5 percent growth in the first quarter of 2010 as customers take a pause and absorb all the devices they purchased over the previous three quarters.”

Gartner analysts still point out that all major segments of the semiconductor market are expected to experience double-digital declines in revenue this year. ASSP IC market for example is expected to generate US$57.2 billion in 2009, a 16.5% decline from 2008 revenue levels and this from the largest single market category.

The second largest market being memory is expected to reach US$41 billion in 2009, a 13.5% decline from last year, while microcomponents are on track to reach US$39.4 billion in 2009, a 19.2 % decline from 2008.

The fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010 are going to be key periods for the industry in relation to how the recovery takes shape in 2010, according to Gartner.
Should the market slow in reaction to a period of new inventory digestion, then the market recovery may be muted. 

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