What a difference six months of good chip company sales returns makes.
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization has raised its forecast of how a number of sub-markets will perform in 2014 -- including the Europe, Asia/Pacific regions and the analog, logic, and memory product classes.
As a result WSTS now expects the global chip market will be worth $325 billion in 2014, up 6.5 percent from 2013. Six months ago, in its fall report, WSTS was forecasting a growth figure of 4.1 percent for the total semiconductor market. WSTS now reckons all the major product categories will show high single-digit percentage growth, except for the processors group where it reduced its growth prediction to 0.9 percent from 1.5 percent.
But analog is now on a high-growth track at 9.1 percent growth in 2014 (up from 4.7 percent) and the sensors market is on the same growth percentage, WSTS said. Similarly the memory market will keep the momentum of 2013 going with 2014 growth of 7.5 percent. Previously WSTS had forecast the memory market would be flat in 2014.
WSTS Spring 2014 forecast summary. Note: Numbers in the table are rounded to whole millions of dollars, which may cause totals by region and totals by product group to differ slightly.
In terms of geography, all the regions except Japan will grow in 2014, but for the European and Asia/Pacific regions WSTS has made significant changes to its 2014 forecast. Europe is now expected to achieve 7.5 percent growth, significantly beating the Americas and Japan. This compares with last December when WSTS said Europe would be the slowest growing region at 1.8 percent. Europe will only be eclipsed by the Asia/Pacific region, which WSTS now sees as achieving 9.3 percent growth in 2014, compared to a figure of 3.7 percent it gave six months ago.
As the Asia/Pacific region is responsible for nearly half the global chip market, this uplift alone has a considerable impact on the 2014 forecast.