BANGALORE, India The seeds of a global IC recovery have been sown, a visiting Mentor Graphics Corp. executive predicted.
Hanns Windele, Mentor's vice president for Europe and India, told the India Semiconductor Association that a chip recovery could begin as early as next year. Windele said the current recession has been milder for the semiconductor industry than previous downturns since there was no inventory glut or peaks in capital equipment purchases prior to the recession.
The impact of the recession has varied among chip makers, with niche market suppliers doing relatively better than bigger suppliers, Windele said.
He warned, however, that the banking collapse could make it difficult for startups to attract venture capital from cautious investors.
"Pricing will stabilize if consolidation is happening," the Mentor executive said. "The changing price per transistor enables totally new applications that address completely new markets. New semiconductor companies emerge into the top 10 during each decade, which again shows no [industry] consolidation is happening."
Windele also struck a note of caution, saying the industry's compound annual growth rate has been falling each decade. While productivity has increased four fold since 1985, the actual number of designers in the industry remains stagnant, Windele said.