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VLSI lowers IC outlook for 2011

Posted: 15 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC outlook? chip forecast? semiconductor?

VLSI Research Inc. is looking to increase its chip forecast for 2010, but it has lowered the outlook for 2011.

"Despite weakness at the macro level, semiconductor suppliers remain bullish about the second half. They're seeing strong demand for Q3 and little inventory build up," according to VLSI Research, in a new report. This is a somewhat different view than Gartner Inc., which recently warned about a slowdown in 2H.

As a result of the climate, "IC sales are now expected to increase 28 percent compared to the previous forecast of 25 percent. The biggest revision was made for IC units, now projected to increase a whopping 31 percent compared to the previous estimate of 24 percent," according to the report from the company.

Here's one warning sign: IC ASPs will decline 2.6 percent. "This is a significant departure from our original scenario, which showed ASPs growing," according to the firm. "IC ASPs have been trending down for months and are already below last year's levels. In recent upturns ASPs have risen. It is a troubling sign that this is not occurring. Chipmakers are not controlling production, losing pricing power, and they're borrowing from the future."

VLSI also cut its IC forecast for 2011. "We are forecasting IC sales to grow only 4 percent in 2011 compared to our previous forecast of 8 percent," according to the firm. "The equipment market is expected to grow in 2011 because of the momentum that it's carrying into next year. However, 2012 will likely be a down year for equipment suppliers."

The fab-tool market is projected to grow 82.6 percent in 2010, according to the firm. SEMI reported that worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings reached $7.46 billion in Q1. The billings figure is 32 percent higher than Q4 09 and 142 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago.

Worldwide semiconductor equipment bookings were $9.41 billion in Q1. The figure is 484 percent more than the same quarter a year ago and 28 percent greater than the bookings figure for Q4 09, according to SEMI.

The data is gathered in jointly with the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan from more than 120 global equipment companies that provide data on a monthly basis.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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