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Gartner lowers foundry forecast for 2007

Posted: 29 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gartner? silicon? semicon foundry? IC foundry? foundry service?

Market research house Gartner Inc. has lowered its silicon foundry forecast for 2007, amid an ongoing inventory correction in the arena.

In 2007, the worldwide foundry market is estimated to grow by 9.6 percent, reaching $23.5 billion in revenue, according to Gartner. The business was originally supposed to grow by 12.8 percent in 2007, which was down from a previous prediction from the firm.

The foundry industry is projected to grow 16.6 percent in 2006. Despite a slowdown, the foundry market is expected to hit $21.4 billion in sales in 2006. Shipments will be 22.7 million 8-inch wafers, while fab-utilization is projected to reach 88.7 percent this year, according to the firm.

The market somewhat fizzled due to an ongoing inventory correction problem, which slowed growth among the various providers.

''Moving into 2007, any possible demand uptick is likely to appear only after the usual first quarter seasonality low,'' according to Gartner. ''While the inventory level appeared to have peaked, current ongoing corrections will probably last until the end of March. The PC, and to a certain extent the consumer segment when compared with the handset, has shown better signs of recovery during this period.''

''In 2007, we expect the foundry market to register 9.6 market growth, reaching $23.5 billion in revenue. On the supply side, we estimate that the fab capacity will increase by 11.4 percent, hitting 28.9 million 8-inch-equivalent wafers. Wafer shipments are estimated to reach 25.2 million 8-inch-equivalent wafers as the utilization forecast rate stabilizes at 87 percent,'' said the firm.

And what about 2008? "Our long-term forecast profile for the foundry market remains unchanged. The outlook for 2008 remains bullish as strong demand and a better pricing environment drive the foundry market to a new record high of $30.1 billion in sales,'' added Gartner.

With a new and bearish forecast in hand, Gartner predicted that capital equipment spending will take a ''breather'' in 2007. Gartner also listed its IC growth forecast to 2011.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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