SAN FRANCISCO—A key semiconductor industry market watcher has once again revised its 2017 chip sales forecast upward after the industry posted another all-time record month in October.
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization — comprised of a group of more than 55 chip companies that share sales data — said it now expects sales to increase 20.6 percent this year to reach more than $408 billion. This would mark the first time that the industry's sales topped $400 billion in any one year, just four years after surpassing the $300 billion mark for the first time.
The WSTS reported that the three-month moving average of chip sales hit a record $37.1 billion in October, up 3 percent from September and up 22 percent compared with October 2016.
"Market growth continues to be driven in part by high demand for memory products, but combined sales of all other semiconductor products were up substantially as well, showing the breadth of the market’s strength this year," said John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) trade group.
Analysts have consistently raised forecasts for the semiconductor industry this year as surging memory prices have set the pace for what has been a strong market nearly across the board. Last week, market research firm IHS projected the market would grow by 21 percent this year. In October, research firm Gartner forecast nearly 20 percent growth while IC Insights last month lifted its forecast to 22 percent growth for the year.
Year-to-year, October's chip sales were up by 41 percent in the America's region, 19.5 percent in Europe, 19.1 percent in China, 16.3 percent in Asia-Pacific and 10.7 percent in Japan, according to the WSTS. Sales were up modestly in all regions sequentially, WSTS said.
— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.