SAN JOSE, Calif. The semiconductor market ended on a slow note in 2004, as sales, unit volumes and average selling prices (ASPs) were down for the month of December.
As reported, the three-month average of worldwide sales of semiconductors was $18.37 billion in December, down 3.5 percent from the previous month's figure of $19.02 billion, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said on Monday (Jan. 31).
The San Jose, Calif.-based industry group predicted that sales would continue to decline in the first quarter of 2005, by 4 to 6 percent sequentially, and that overall 2005 would be flat with 2004. The "actual" fourth quarter sales, at $55.1 billion, declined by 0.8 percent from the immediate-prior quarter's sales of $55.5 billion, the SIA said (see Jan. 31 story).
As expected, the market slowed due to seasonal patterns. "Semiconductor sales growth further slowed in December, up 15 percent year-over-year to $18.4 billion, with volume growth slowing to 5 percent year-over-year. ASPs declined 1 percent month-over-month," according to a report from investment banking firm RBC Capital Markets Inc. (San Francisco).
Overall, IC volumes, excluding DRAM, were down 3 percent sequentially to 7.9 billion units, which is below historical patters, according to RBC. The ten-year average for the month is down 2 percent.
In the NAND-based flash-memory market, volumes were down 5 percent sequentially to 65 million units, with ASPs up 1 percent to $8.73, according to RBC.
Cellular phone digital signal processor (DSP) shipments declined 12 percent sequentially to 58.7 million units, according to RBC. "Shipments were weak (for DSPs) throughout the quarter posting three consecutive months of declining shipments," according to the report.
Image sensor shipments declined 3 percent sequentially to 97 million units, with an ASP decline of 1 percent. For Q4, shipments grew 6 percent while ASPs declined 13 percent, according to the report.
Analog shipments declined 2 percent and ASPs were down 1 percent. "We believe excess inventories continue to be worked down and expect the analog sector to pick up in CQ2:05," the report said.