Semiconductor spending to reach $316bn in 2012 – Gartner

16 Mar 2012

Worldwide semiconductor revenue will total $316bn in 2012, a 4pc increase from 2011, according to a forecast by Gartner, Inc. This outlook is an increase from Gartner’s previous forecast in Q4 of 2011 for 2.2pc growth.

“The semiconductor industry is poised for a rebound starting in the second quarter of 2012,” said Bryan Lewis, research vice-president at Gartner.

“The inventory correction is expected to conclude this quarter, foundry utilisation rates are bottoming, and the economic outlook is stabilising.”

In the memory sector, DRAM pricing is expected to improve beginning in Q2 of 2012. The DRAM market will show a slight revenue increase in 2012 (up 0.9pc from 2011) after being the worst-performing market in 2011, decreasing 25pc.

DRAM prices were down about 50pc in 2011, and Gartner analysts expect pricing to rebound in part due to Elpida filing bankruptcy protection.

NAND flash memory, however, is one of the fastest-growing device types in 2012, with revenue forecast to grow 18pc. This is due to a strong increase in mobile consumer devices and solid-state drives, according to analysts.

Semiconductor revenue from media tablets will reach $9.5bn in 2012. Quad-core processors and higher-resolution displays will be mainstream for tablets in 2012.

PC unit production in 2012 is projected to increase 4.7pc, and semiconductor revenue from PCs will reach US$57.8bn. Mobile phone unit production is expected to grow 6.7 percent, with semiconductor revenue for mobile phones totalling US$57.2bn in 2012.

Gartner analysts said that further innovation focused on location and context will require advances in sensing, processing, displays, connectivity and power efficiency.