LONDON – Semiconductor inventory levels at chip suppliers worldwide excluding memory have risen for the seventh consecutive quarter, according to market research company IHS.
The total stockpile level, excluding memory, is projected to have risen to 81.5 days in the second quarter, up 1.5 percent from 80.3 days in the first quarter, the company said.
Suppliers are moving to build inventory ahead of expected demand in the second half of 2011, according to IHS semiconductor analyst Sharon Stiefel.
Memory and analog companies had the highest percentage increases in their internal inventory, with growth of almost 15 percent, while fabless chip companies and distributors had lower increases, IHS said.
Although the Japanese earthquake and tsunami appears to have had low impact on the supply-chain in most markets, it may have served to change attitudes. Holding higher inventory could become more acceptable in the future as a means to avoiding problems when natural disasters or political unrest strike.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.