By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk
Is this the start of the cyclical downturn in the semiconductor business? WSTS - the global chip market research group - forecasts that the worldwide semiconductor market will fall 2.4% this year to US$327 billion, but will pick up again in 2017 and 2018.
For 2016, growth in Optoelectronics (1.8%), Sensors (7.6%), and Analogue ICs (1.0%) - mostly driven by industrial, embedded and IoT applications - is expected to be offset by declines in Memory (-10.2%) and Logic (-2.5%). By geography, for 2016, declines are expected across all regions with the largest decline in Americas.
For 2017 and 2018, all major product categories and all regions are forecasted to grow reaching US$341 billion in 2018. As a result, the worldwide semiconductor market is forecasted to be up ~2% year-on-year in both 2017 and 2018, which is not the large growth that gives confidence and any small downturn can turn this to a drop.
By region, a positive growth rate is projected for all regions in 2017 and 2018. The Americas and Asia Pacific regions are expected to show the highest growth rate, accounting for approximately 80% of the market.