SAN JOSE, Calif. The bears at Semico Research Corp. have suddenly turned into bulls, as the market research firm raised its semiconductor forecast for the next two years. The research firm not only sees growth in traditional markets but also in so-called media hubs for the digital domain.
Once one of the more pessimistic forecasters, Semico (Phoenix) now projects that the semiconductor industry will grow by 4 percent to $221.6 billion in 2005 over 2004, up from its previous forecast of 2 percent for the year.
In 2006, the research firm projects the semiconductor industry will grow a whopping 18.2 percent to $262.1 billion, double its previous forecast of 8.1 percent.
Semico, however, reduced its previous forecast for 2007 and 2008. Originally, it projected growth of 19.8 percent in 2007 and 18.1 percent in 2008.
In its new forecast, the IC market is projected to hit $308.7 billion in 2007, up 17.8 percent from 2006, according to Semico. The IC market is projected to reach $356.3 billion in 2008, up 15.4 percent from 2007, according to Semico.
Jim Feldhan, president of Semico, sees a downturn coming in the second half of 2008. The IC market, in turn, will hit $346.3 billion in 2009, down 2.8 percent over 2008.
In the short term, Feldhan is bullish for this year and next. “We’re upbeat,” he said in an interview at the Semico Outlook Conference on Thursday (September 15).
“We’re not going to mimic what everyone else says,” he said. “We still see a lot of innovations.”
Feldhan was referring to the growing number of pessimistic forecasts from other, undisclosed research houses. Gartner, iSuppli and others have published relatively bearish forecasts for semiconductors.