13 Jul 2012
Forecasts of stagnant semiconductor market growth for 2012 are "totally and absolutely wrong", the boss of a semi analyst has told delegates in London.
Malcolm Penn, chief executive officer of Future Horizons, said predications by the US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) for flat global growth this year should be revised up.
Mr Penn was speaking at IFS2012, an electronics conference organised by Future.
Earlier this month, the SIA announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $24.4 billion (£15.8 billion) for the month of May 2012, a 1.4 per cent month-over-month increase when sales were $24.1 billion.
But sales from May onwards were put at 3.4 per cent lower than the May 2011 total of $25.2 billion, and 2012 year-to-date sales were lower across all regions than at the same time last year.
Mr Penn said the industry could expect global semiconductor sales of four per cent for the year.
"It's not going to be less than four per cent," he was quoted as saying by Electronics Weekly.
"It'll be something in the 4-8 per cent region."
While quarter one was down 2.3 per cent, Mr Penn forecast quarter two to be between 6.6 per cent and 8.3 per cent growth, with quarter three up ten per cent.
Of quarter four, Mr Penn said: "There's visibility for two quarters at best; the third quarter out is hazy; for the fourth quarter you haven't a clue."
Mr Penn also discussed four key semiconductor market forces – inventory, fabless capacity, analogue signal processing and the overall economy.
"The inventory burn is over," he was quoted as saying.
"The demand we're now seeing is real demand. No one's got the capacity to build inventory and people are too scared to build inventory."
Of the economy, Mr Penn said confidence in advanced economies was at an "all-time low".
"The politicians and leaders have made a mess and the natural reaction of business leaders is to do nothing," he said.
"However," he added, "technology marches on, and those companies which are investing will come out of this much more structurally sound".Submitted by: