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Fewer IC executives see opportunities in China

Posted: 18 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductors? foundry? fabless?

A survey of semiconductor executives points to a new hierarchy as the global chip market recovers next year. China will fall behind the U.S, followed by Europe, South Korea and Taiwan, consultancy firm KPMG reports.

The broad-based rebound is likely to begin in the second half of 2013, but 75 per cent of the 152 executives polled said their companies' revenue growth will increase in the next fiscal year, compared to 63 per cent a year ago. Also, two-thirds expect their workforce to expand, up from just 48 per cent in last year's survey and 71 per cent say annual industry profitability will increase over the next year.

The survey was conducted in September 2012 and the senior level executives polled were drawn from IDM, foundry and fabless chip companies.

The U.S. is growing in significance for the third year in a row, and fewer industry executives believe China will be the most important market for their company's semiconductor revenue growth three years from now. Two years ago Taiwan was ranked second, ahead of the U.S.

In terms of growth of employment over the next 12 months China remains the leader. Significantly, fewer executives placed China among the top three markets for job growth during the next 12 months in this year's survey, while more placed the U.S. and Europe at the top.

Consumer electronics replaced wireless devices in the survey as the top semiconductor application, which may reflect the stranglehold achieved on the wireless device category by the likes of Apple and Samsung. More executives ranked industrial, medical, automotive and power management as important revenue drivers than in the previous three year's surveys, KPMG said.

This year, 53 per cent of the executives said renewable energy technologies like batteries will be an important driver of revenue over the next three years, up from 36 per cent a year ago.

More deals in 2013

Two-thirds, compared to 62 per cent last year, anticipate an increase in the number of merger and acquisition deals in the industry during 2013. More than three-quarters expect semiconductor-related R&D spending to increase, up significantly from 2012 (65 per cent).

Near-field communications (32 per cent) and RFID (28 per cent) were cited most often as the technologies expected to provide the best platforms for enabling mobile payments.

"The decline in Korea and Taiwan may be explained by their high exposure to the Japanese and China economies which are both in poorer condition than 2011," Gary Matuszak, global chair of KPMG's Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice, said in a statement.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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