SAN JOSE, Calif. Worldwide semiconductor unit shipments are expected to slow and peak by the first quarter of 2006, according to a report from Soleil Securities Inc.
“Q1 2006 appears to be the quarter in which year-to-year growth will peak out for the semiconductor industry in the current cycle,” said Paul Leming, an analyst with Soleil Securities, in a report. “That is one quarter sooner than we had previously been anticipating.”
The projected peak follows a sizzling month for IC shipments and revenue, mainly due to growth for DSPs, microprocessors and NAND-based flash memories.
The three-month average of worldwide semiconductor sales in September came in at $19.55 billion, higher than expectations for the second month running. This was up by 5.2 percent compared with $18.58 billion in August 2005 and up 5.6 percent on the equivalent number in September 2004, according to figures from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization published by the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) (see Oct. 31 story).
There is good and bad news concerning the data. “We had been looking for a typically, seasonally strong September we got much more than that,” Leming said.
“The August to September percentage increase in units (17.4 percent) was significantly above normal seasonality for September. Coming on top of very strong months in July and August, September's growth produced the second strongest quarter-to-quarter unit growth 13.2 percent for integrated circuits in the last 20 years,” he said.
But unit growth is likely to slow in the coming months. “On the heels of such extraordinary growth, and with unit shipments of integrated circuits now 12.5 percent above its historic trend-line, we believe shipments of integrated circuits are likely to trend sideways over the next six to nine months,” he said. “The product areas most in need of a ‘correction’ are in the digital logic area. Shipments of analog and memory units are not as over-extended.”
On a three-month rolling average, the microprocessor market reached $3.04 billion in September, up 8.6 percent sequentially and up 20.9 percent year-over-year. Microprocessor units were 29 million for the month, up 10 percent sequentially and up 13.1 percent year-over-year. ASPs were $104.99, down 1.3 percent sequentially but up 6.9 percent from a year ago.
On a three-month rolling average, the digital signal processor market reached $657.9 million in September, up 4.7 percent sequentially and up 0.1 percent year-over-year. DSP units were 114.1 million for the month, up 8.1 percent sequentially and up 2.9 percent year-over-year. ASPs were $5.77, down 3.1 percent sequentially and down 2.7 percent a year ago.
On a three-month rolling average, the DRAM market reached $2.17 billion in September, up 2.4 percent sequentially but down 8.3 percent year-over-year.
DRAM units were 622 million for the month, up 1.5 percent sequentially and up 15.1 percent year-over-year. ASPs were $3.48, up 0.9 percent sequentially but down 20.3 percent a year ago.
On a three-month rolling average, the NOR-based flash market reached $635.7 million in September, up 3.6 percent sequentially but down 17.9 percent year-over-year. NOR-based flash units were 240.8 million for the month, up 5 percent sequentially and up 7.8 percent year-over-year. ASPs were $2.64, down 1.3 percent sequentially and down 23.9 percent a year ago.
On a three-month rolling average, the NAND-based flash market reached $946.1 million in September, up 11.2 percent sequentially and up 78.8 percent year-over-year. NAND-based flash units were 114.2 million for the month, up 6.6 percent sequentially and up 96.8 percent year-over-year. ASPs were $8.29, up 4.3 percent sequentially and down 9.1 percent a year ago.