Market research firm Gartner has made another revision to its semiconductor industry growth projections for 2009 and 2010 due to improved market sales and higher ASPs reported by companies in the third quarter. Worldwide semiconductor revenue is on now expected to reach US$226 billion in 2009, an 11.4% decline from 2008 revenue of US$255 billion. This is a significant change to its forecast made in September, 2009 when Gartner projected revenue of US$212 billion and a 17% decline over the previous year.
Revisions have also been made for 2010. Gartner now expects revenue to return to the same levels as seen in 2008 (US$255 billion), a growth of 13% over the current revised 2009 revenue forecast. Previously, the market research firm has projected revenue to reach only US$233 billion, a rise of 10.3% over 2009.
“The most significant changes for the semiconductor industry came from application-specific standard products (ASSPs), memory and compute microprocessors, as all three products benefited from a strengthening PC market,” said Bryan Lewis, research vice president at Gartner. “ASSPs and memory, primarily NAND flash, also benefited from an improved outlook for cell phones.
The revenue forecast for the commodity memory market — DRAM and NAND flash — has improved because of the stronger demand outlook, which means that pricing has strengthened more than previously forecast.”
However, the stronger demand, combined with the better pricing outlook, is now expected to lead to memory manufacturers investing in new capacity earlier than previously forecast, thus triggering an oversupply in DRAM in 2012 though 2013.