According to new research from IHS iSuppli, the 298 semiconductor suppliers tracked within its Competitive Landscaping Tool (CLT) experienced their first revenue decline in the fourth quarter of 2010, since the beginning of 2009. Revenue contract 3.7% to US$77.2 billion in 4Q10, compared to US$80.1 billion in the previous quarter.
“The last time a sequential decline happened in the semiconductor industry was during the recent global economic downturn,” said Dale Ford of IHS. “Following steep declines of 21.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 18.0% in the first quarter of 2009, semiconductor revenues began to increase in the second quarter of 2009 and then rose every quarter until the fourth quarter of 2010.”
Despite the fourth-quarter contraction, revenues increased by $74.5 billion in 2010. According to the market research firm this set a new record not seen since the dot-com bubble of 2000 when revenue reached US$59.2 billion.
Weaker demand and higher inventories may have been behind the decline in the fourth quarter, though the market research firm didn't highlight the cause.