LONDON – The market for semiconductors in the fourth quarter of 2012 will be up 0.5 percent sequentially giving rise to annual market fall of 2.5 percent compared with 2011, according to market analysis firm Semiconductor Intelligence. The market analysis firm has ranked several of the leading chip companies by their guidance for the fourth calendar quarter of 2012.
The observation from Semi Intelligence is that guidance for 4Q12 varies widely, from double digit sequential declines from Texas Instruments and Infineon to a 20 percent increase from Qualcomm.
Revenue guidance for 4Q12 versus 3Q12. Source: Semiconductor Intelligence
The interpretation is that business and consumer spending on PCs is weak but that spending on smartphones and tablet computers is strong. Inventory adjustments are being made in the supply chain so that the market should rebound quickly when end demand picks up.
Semiconductor Intelligence bases its annual forecast on a model tied to global gross domestic product.
GDP percentage growth by year and region. Source: Semiconductor Intelligence and IMF
The latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts worldwide GDP growth of 3.6 percent in 2013, a slight improvement from 3.3% in 2012. The 0.3 percentage point acceleration in GDP growth from 2012 to 2013 corresponds to a 2013 semiconductor market growth of around 8 to 10 percent.
The electronics market outlook is mixed. Based on these factors, we at Semiconductor Intelligence are forecasting 9% growth in the semiconductor market in 2013.
I believe that Qualcomm, which has LTE capability within Snapdragon, is quoted as having about half the mobile application processor market.
As Qualcomm does not make the processors for Apple iPhone and iPad I think that implies Qualcomm has more than half of the Android market.
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.