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FSA survey points to turnaround in wafer demand

Posted: 19 Mar 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wafer and packaging demand survey? wafer demand survey? wafer demand? packaging demand?

Results of the Fabless Semiconductor Association's (FSA) eighth annual Wafer and Packaging Demand survey pointed to short-term 17 percent increase in wafer demand from the fourth quarter of 2001 to first quarter this year, indicating that a turnaround in the semiconductor industry will likely occur this year.

Conducted with PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, the FSA survey also estimated that wafer demand would increase in the first quarter of this year by 2 percent over actual demand in the fourth quarter of 2001, and 16 percent total increase this year over actual demand last year.

The survey, participated in by 131 fabless companies and 14 IDMs, also indicated compounded growth for this year and 2003 based on sequential increase in wafer demand. Long-term forecasts are also optimistic, with all respondents forecasting a 78 percent wafer demand increase in 2002 over 2001.

"Despite optimistic forecasts, it is important to remember that recovery during 2002 will be gradual," stated Jodi Shelton, co-founder and executive director of the FSA. "Analysts' 2002 predictions are for flat to minimal growth during the year, with an emphasis on the potential for 20 to 25 percent industry growth in 2003."

"The global semiconductor market lost more than $100 billion last year, so we have a lot of ground to make up. Thus, the FSA sees this survey as a key tool, allowing companies to find a strong middle ground to measure the aggregate fabless and IDM wafer demand to gauge their growth prospects for the year," Shelton added.

In terms of revenue performance, public fabless revenues were down 21 percent last year, totaling $12.7 billion compared to $16 billion in 2000. But IDMs fared worse with revenues declining 27 percent.

But the FSA claims that the fabless sector demonstrated better than average industry performance due to less dependence on very volatile memory products and a greater focus on products using advanced technologies.

Incorporated in 1994, the FSA was formed to achieve a more optimal balance between wafer demand and capacity. The organization encourages the relationship between fabless companies and suppliers, facilitates business partnerships, and creates awareness of the fabless business.

The FSA groups more than 350 corporate member representing fabless companies, IDMs, foundry providers, packaging/assembly houses, EDA companies, investment bankers, and IP providers.

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