Though estimated third
quarter foundry sales are up from the second quarter, the difference in
growth percentage points to the emergence of a new pattern of
manufacturing, with initial product shipments from foundry suppliers for
new design wins now moving from the third quarter to the second, IHS
"This shift in seasonality is related to end suppliers
introducing next-generation wireless products, like cellphones and
tablets, earlier in the year in order to capitalize on sales during a
longer period—one lasting three quarters, instead of the usual two
quarter time frame that traditionally starts at the beginning of the
second half," said Len Jelinek, director and chief analyst of
semiconductor manufacturing at IHS, in a statement.
foundry suppliers must start to adjust technology development and
factory expansion plans to this new pattern. "Shipments in the third
quarter are now also a direct reflection of second-quarter performance,"
While there is potential for better-than-expected
second half sales as OEMs bring out next-generation tablets,
feature-rich smartphones and Ultrabooks with the soon-to-be-launched
Windows 8 operating system, any projected upticks will be too late to
drive major revenue increases for foundry players this year, IHS said.
the current production pace, foundry manufacturing run rates will be
negatively affected through the first quarter next year and into the
first half of the second quarter, IHS projected. The firm projects a
recovery for foundries after that, forecasting 10 percent sequential
growth in the third quarter of 2013.
Len Jelinek seems to be correct.
Foundry revenue seasonality may have shifted slightly. We will see next few years how this plays out as leading edge foundry investment and the new designs to utilize those new capabilities are impacted by realities of the cost of being an early adapter. As variability of capability increases with tech level, risk of missing peak buying season requires earlier foundry starts.