The market for large-scale backplanes (LSBPs) used in computer and telecom equipment fell 45% last year to an estimated $1.38 billion, down from $2.5 billion in 2000, according to the latest projections from iSuppli Market Intelligence Services, El Segundo, Calif.
The company projects that growth in this sector will be flat for 2002, with a recovery not expected to begin until the end of the year. Revenues for LSBP manufacturers will reach only $1.84 billion by 2005.
"The telecommunications industry is the largest user of LSBPs and there is little impetus in 2002 for a rapid recovery in backplanes," iSuppli said. "Wired telecom equipment industry revenues were down 18% in 2001, and are forecast to fall an additional 9.7% to $122 billion this year with a general recovery beginning only late in the year."
Some areas -- namely those that facilitate broadband Internet access to the home or that assist carriers in reducing the cost of operations -- will generate the backplane orders needed to maintain the current production levels until then, the company said.
"It will be important for LSBP manufacturers to continue implementing their expansion plans, as any delays in new factory capacity will have the potential for creating shortages when the backplane market rebounds in early 2003," iSuppli added. "Backplane buyers should monitor the market closely during the next six months and establish relationships with severalbackplane suppliers in anticipation of LSBP shortages early next year."