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Mobile tech: Good for batteries, good for Asia

Posted: 05 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC manufacturing? mobile market? power management?

While 2011 gave us a variety of natural disasters to worry over, an even larger concern for the semiconductor industry is the macro economic impact from the U.S. deficit debate and the European financial crisis combined with the more controlled growth in the Asian market. Reports of these struggling economies are driving consumer confidence down as fears of another recession loom. The result is an overly cautious OEM market reaction where the supply chain has stopped ordering parts and is burning off inventories.

The driving assumption for the Semico Research Corp. forecast is that we continue to see richer semiconductor content in electronics products. Within each end-use product we continue to see more memory being installed, more radios, a higher usage of MEMS, and more sophisticated baseband and application processors. However, the consumer is shopping for bargains. They're spending less on HDTVs, cameras, games and set-top boxes. This resulted in a slower second half 2011.

Semiconductor revenue forecast

Semiconductor revenue forecast
Source: Semico Research Corp. IPI report

Michell Prunty

Prunty: Semico is forecasting a return to semiconductor revenue growth in 2012.

The market has reacted quickly to this slowdown. By the first quarter of 2012, companies will realize that inventories need to be replenished and will once again fill the supply chain pipeline in order to keep the production lines running. Semico is forecasting a return to semiconductor revenue growth in 2012.

So which markets will be driving growth in 2012? While the consumer is spending less in 2011, there are a handful of areas that will have high growth throughout 2015. Tablets, smartphones, netbooks, and e-readers are among the leaders. For example, the smart phone segment is performing well, and Asian printed circuit board manufacturers reported that smart phone builds were robust in the third quarter with a 10 percent growth. The fourth quarter of 2011 will show a seasonal slowing.

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