LONDON Malcolm Penn, chief executive of market analysis firm Future Horizons (Sevenoaks, England), is looking forward to strong growth in the global chip market in 2010 after a 10 percent contraction in 2009.
The strength of the third quarter data coming in from World Semiconductor Trade Statistics and from company financial results is the reason for Penn's bullish position at this time.
Five or six percent sequential growth in the fourth quarter would take the 2009 chip market to $220 billion, down 10 percent from 2008 and greater than Penn's previous forecast of a 14 percent contraction.
"Even a modest quarterly growth pattern [based] on this yields a minimum 20 percent growth for 2010, to around $275 billion (sic)...sizeably more than its 2007 peak. Just as the perfect storm killed 2001, the perfect calm will drive the 2009-10 recovery," said Penn.
The perfect calm is the combination of rising average selling prices coupled with rising unit sales in rebounding growth environment. An underinvested industry capital expenditure means that spending made today would take at least 9 months to a year to show as increased output, which indicates that 2010 could be a boom year, Penn said.
Nonetheless, the ever-optimistic Penn has overstated the impact of a 20 percent increase on a market of $220 billion. It would produce a value of $264 billion.
Penn is, as usual, more optimistic than some other analysts and institutions.
The Semiconductor Industry Association sees 2009 semiconductor sales falling 11.6 percent from the prior year, to $219.7 billion, a massive improvement upon its June projection of a 21.3 percent decline. However, the SIA sees 2010 improving by 10.2 percent, to $242.1 billion, followed in 2011 by lower growth of 8.4 percent, to $262.3 billion.
Market research firm Databeans (Reno, Nevada) is also more conservative than Future Horizons. Databeans is predicting a 2009 market worth $217 billion, a contraction of 13 percent from 2008, and 2010 revenue up 17 percent at $254 billion.