BRUSSELS, Belgium – Brokerage firm Nomura Securities has raised its forecast for growth in the value of the global semiconductor market to 4.4 percent, an increase from its previous projection of 3.1 percent given in December 2010.
The modestly revised figure reflects demand for smartphones and servers being above previous expectations and stronger-than-expected prices for memory ICs.
Nonetheless, this puts Nomura in the bear camp along with TSMC (2 percent) and way from bulls who reacted to first quarter global sales figures by raising estimates to high single-digit percentage growth (see Analysts: Chip ASPs to fuel two good years).
With memory taken out Nomura has reduced the growth of the remainder of the semiconductor market to 4.1 percent from 5.6 percent taking into account slowing demand in the consumer sector. However, Nomura also expects to see growth for analog and power semiconductors on brisk industrial demand, as well as increasing demand for NAND flash and mobile DRAM used in smartphones and tablet computers.
Companies well positioned in these areas stand to benefit considerably and Nomura picks out Maxim Integrated Products, Samsung Electronics, Toshiba, Mitsubishi Electric, and STMicroelectronics.
At the same time Nomura is now projecting a 12.2 percent year-on-year growth in the volume of PC shipments including tablets in 2011.
Tablet computers remain the hot item and Nomura predicts shipment growth of 12.2 percent in 2011 and 17.3 percent in 2012. Meanwhile conventional PCs will rise only 3.3 percent in 2011 and 5.8 percent in 2012.
Memory IC demand has is shifting from commodity DRAM to mobile DRAM and NAND flash. This is expected to result in 10.3 percent decline in DRAM shipment value in 2011, compared with a previous estimate of a 21.3 percent fall. NAND flash shipment value is expected to grow strongly, climbing 34.6 percent in 2011.