The global semiconductor sector will post modest growth this year although expectations are high that the global economy will gradually improve, Digitimes Research said yesterday.
Digitimes forecast the global semiconductor sector would rise by 5 percent this year from the previous year, thanks to falling inventory levels over the past three quarters and rising demand beginning in the second half of the second quarter.
Since 2010, the dramatic growth of portable electronics devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, has driven industry growth, Digitimes analyst Nobunaga Chai (柴煥欣) said.
The total output of the global semiconductor assembly and testing industries reached US$47.07 billion in 2010, up 23.8 percent from the previous year, he said.
Although the European debt crisis and natural disasters in Japan and Thailand caused annual growth to slow to 2.8 percent last year, with total output reaching US$48.38 billion, Chai expressed optimism.
Shipments of portable electronics devices are still very likely to grow, while PC shipments are expected to rise 20 percent sequentially in the second half of the year, he said.
According to Gartner Inc, worldwide semiconductor revenue is projected to increase 4 percent to US$316 billion this year from last year. Gartner predicted in mid-March that semiconductor revenue from tablets would reach US$9.5 billion this year.
Semiconductor revenue from PCs is forecast to reach US$57.8 billion this year, with that for mobile phones totaling US$57.2 billion, Gartner said.