LONDON – The publishing of the global chip manufacturing capacity statistics for the second quarter of 2011 is late compared with the previous year's schedule, as were the statistics for the first quarter.
The semiconductor international capacity statistics (SICAS), including manufacturing utilization, are based on aggregated returns from 23 chip manufacturing companies and extrapolated to be representative of the overall industry.
Traditionally the quarterly stats were published on the www.sicas.info website within seven weeks of the end of the quarter. Thus Q1 numbers are typically posted mid-to-late May and Q2 numbers posted in mid-to-late August. The participating companies have traditionally received the data one week before the general public.
However, the Q1 statistics did not appear until early July when they were posted on the Semiconductor Industry Association's website. They have still not appeared on the SICAS website which lists 4Q10 as the current quarter.
When the Q1 results eventually appeared no reason was given for the delay although it is noticeable that many of the spreadsheet figures for the previous quarter had been changed. This suggests that the statisticians had problems squaring Q1 against Q4 and had to do some back checking and correction.
One reason for the delay in both Q1 and Q2 could have been uncertainty on how to record the loss of manufacturing capacity, and capacity utilization, at Japanese companies affected by the aftermath of the great earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan on March 11. This will have had a small but significant effect in the first quarter but is likely to have had a much bigger effect in the second quarter.
Another possibility is that the publishing is being delayed to give the participating companies more time with exclusive access to the data.