SAN JOSE, Calif. How will the current financial crisis affect the semiconductor market?
The current economic climate is horrible, but it's not all doom-and-gloom. "You can't run on emotions only,'' said Bryan Lewis, an analyst with Gartner Inc.
But during a presentation here Thursday (Oct. 9), Lewis dropped hints that Gartner could possibly reduce its IC forecast for 2008 and 2009. At present, Gartner projects that the IC market will grow 4.2 percent in 2008 and 7.8 percent in 2009.
Based on the current dynamics, including the financial situation, the IC market could grow only 2.5 percent in 2008 and 2 percent in 2009, Lewis said. More precisely, in its next forecast update, Gartner expects to reduce its 2009 IC growth forecast to between 2 and 4 percent.
There are mixed signals right now, which could spill over into 2009. ''Microeconomic conditions continue to worsen,'' he said, but ''IT [has] held up amazingly well in the first half of 2008. PCs and cell phone unit growth will keep semiconductor growth positive for 2009.''
On the other hand, there are some concerns with IC inventories. ''OEM inventories are rising in wireless, auto and storage,'' he said.
Gartner said Wednesday it expects semiconductor industry capital spending to decline 25.7 percent in 2008 and another 12.8 percent in 2009 before recovering to grow 16.7 percent in 2010.
Gartner is the latest market watcher to cuts its capital spending forecast amid a global economic slowdown.
Here's some other key data from Gartner:
Memory growth is projected to fall about 15 percent in 2008 and will drop 17 percent in 2009.
NAND, which is in an oversupply mode, is expected to reach a supply/demand balance by Q2 2009. The overall NAND market is projected to fall 10.1 percent in 2008, but it could drop by 15 percent this year. NAND is expected to rebound and grow 15.1 percent in 2009.
The DRAM market is projected to fall 10.5 percent in 2008 but it could grow 25.1 percent in 2009.
PC growth: Up 13.6 percent in 2008, but that could be adjusted downwards. Up 12.3 percent in 2009.
Smart phone: Up 8.8 percent 2008, but that could be adjusted downward. Up 11.3 percent in 2009.