This is starting to sound like the weather report: predictions of doom and gloom with a minimal correlation to the actual weather (and conflicting reports on both sides). Some media are predicting dire consequences of foundry capacity destroyed by the Japanese earthquake or incapacitated by power shortages, while others are predicting a capacity glut. If something this tangible and short term cannot be predicted, what hope do we have for any kind of economic forecasting?
In terms of forecasting CJ Muse and VLSI Research (who both take a contrary view to this article leader) both have a much better track record of forecasting and insight than Gartner, who, by my observation, overshoot and undershoot on any positive or negative indicator respectively (usually to hit the news - sucker EETimes!).
In the case of over capacity at leading nodes TSMC has a key advantage in its own mask house in that they control the prices for leading masks - too much 4xN capacity? - drop the price of 4xN masks and migrate your 6xN customer etc.
This situation was predicted in the pages of EETimes back in February it looks to me (by Intel's CEO, "Intel: Foundry business is in oversupply trouble", February 18, 2011).
I do sense a contradiction within the report; if node transitions are problematic and yield concerns are real (a'la TSMC 28nm and UMC 32nm) then getting an early start and having excess capacity to make up for yield shortfall would seem to be a logical response). Yes?
Too many analysts are disregarding the severe and likely long-term effect the earthquake in tsunami in Japan will result in. I would not be surprised if manufacturing companies there have power issues through the end of the year or maybe even early next year. Foundries of course can switch wafer suppliers but qualifying new wafer vendors is not something you can cook up in a month or two.
Watch out? Maybe if you hold a hedge fund. Come on EE Times. Stop playing Chicken Little with every analyst report. Does a boom in the electronics industry really scare you so much to where it might sweep the unemployed off the street". Your headline should read "Now is the time to queue up new Chip Products". Like we don't have time to fix it with a simple rally cry that YOU are capable of? Instead, it's poop your pants, tuck your tail, yell to everyone like the sky is falling, and hide, like Wall St wants you to do. The last thing THEY want is a boom of hiring during an election year.
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