Worldwide semiconductor revenue is projected to total $316 billion in 2012, a 4 percent increase from 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. This outlook is up from Gartner's previous forecast in the fourth quarter of 2011 for 2.2 percent growth.
"The semiconductor industry is poised for a rebound starting in the second quarter of 2012," said Bryan Lewis, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "The inventory correction is expected to conclude this quarter, foundry utilization rates are bottoming, and the economic outlook is stabilizing."
In the memory sector, DRAM pricing is expected to improve beginning in the second quarter of 2012, Gartner said. The DRAM market will show a slight revenue increase in 2012—up about 1 percent from 2011—after declining 25 percent in 2011, Gartner said. DRAM prices declined about 50 percent in 2011, and Gartner analysts expect pricing to rebound in part due to the bankruptcy filing last month of Japan's Elpida Memory Inc.
NAND flash memory is expected to be one of the fastest-growing device types in 2012, with revenue forecast to grow 18 percent, Gartner said. Analysts attribute the NAND flash growth to a strong increase in mobile consumer devices and solid-state drives.
Media tablet unit production is forecast to increase 78 percent over 2011, and semiconductor revenue from media tablets will reach $9.5 billion in 2012, according to Garter's projections. Quad-core processors and higher-resolution displays will be mainstream for tablets in 2012, the firm predicted.
PC unit production is projected to increase 4.7 percent in 2012, with semiconductor revenue from PCs reaching $57.8 billion, according to Gartner. Mobile phone unit production is expected to grow 6.7 percent, with semiconductor revenue for mobile phones totaling $57.2 billion in 2012, Gartner said. The firm's analysts said that further innovation focused on location and context will require advances in sensing, processing, displays, connectivity and power efficiency.
"2012 should be a reasonably strong year for the semiconductor industry if the macroeconomic outlook stays in check," Lewis said. "Gartner's 2012 semiconductor forecast of 4 percent growth assumes the European debt issues stay contained, Iran/Israel tensions stay in check, and solid growth from China."
Yep! In addition SEMI's prediction for 2012 improved for fab equipment spending (YoY):
Nov -12%, Dec 2011 -4% and now Feb 2012 0% flat). Their forecast was pretty much on since Oct 2007. So, there are positive signs!
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.