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Foundry demand to rebound in 2006

Posted: 15 Sep 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon wafer?

Silicon foundry wafer demand is expected to show disappointing growth in 2005, but the sector is projected to rebound in 2006, according to Semico Research Corp.

Foundry wafer demand is expected to grow only 10 percent in 2005, compared to 31 percent in 2004, according to Semico (Phoenix).

Semico expects to see increased activity in some non-traditional foundry markets, such as memories and microprocessors. That will push foundry wafer demand up 23 percent in 2006.

In the next five years, the research firm is forecasting a 14 percent compound annual growth rate for foundry wafer demand. That is slower than the past ten years but still faster growth than expected in the overall semiconductor industry, according to Semico.

The research firm is expected to release more details about the growth of the foundry market at the Semico Outlook Conference, which is slated for Thursday in San Jose, Calif. The agenda can be seen here.

Meanwhile, what will drive the foundry market? "We do not believe that every innovative product has been invented," said Joanne Itow, an analyst with Semico. "Semico believes that one of the key changes that will occur in the next few years is the shift from a PC-centric electronics market to a connectivity and portability market."

In fact, the media hub could be the next killer application. "In today's world, digital content is being customized, enhanced, transmitted, and saved using PCs," she said. "Semico believes that the media hub will be a killer catalyst enabling the connectivity that all this digital content demands. The media hub is a device that captures digital content from different platforms and transcodes the content into a variety of playback formats. It can have wired and/or wireless networking connectivity and data storage capability."

According to Semico, there are three major types of media hubs. This includes the PC-centric media hub, which positions the PC as the center for home entertainment; a stand-alone media hub, which is a platform that was specifically developed to store and play back digital content throughout the home; and the CE-platform media hub, set top box or video game console, according to Semico.

- Mark LaPedus

EE Times

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