LONDON The IC market could be cooling down, especially at Xilinx Inc.
"Based on our checks, we believe that lead times for Xilinx's PLDs have ceased to extend over the last month. In fact, lead times may have moderated slightly over this same period of time," said Cristina Osmena, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., a New York investment banking firm in a report issued on Friday (June 4).
"The change in Xilinx's lead times indicates a loosening of constrained supply for their product," Osmena said in the report. "Indeed, this has been separately affirmed by comments out of the company that 130-nm capacity tightness has eased slightly."
This has implications for both the foundry and equipment industry. "Xilinx is one of the key customers for [United Microelectronics Corp.], a major Taiwanese foundry and the second largest pure-play foundry in the world. UMC's capacity utilization in Q1 was reported at 100 percent and customers have been largely on allocation. Xilinx's comments imply a change in the level of availability for UMC's 130 nm capacity," she said.
"While this data point, taken alone, may not speak to the direction of equipment demand in aggregate, it supports our concerns with respect to marginal changes in availability of semiconductors," she added.
The analyst maintains an "underperform" rating on Applied Materials Inc., "hold" on Novellus Systems Inc. and a "hold" on KLA-Tencor.