Sat, Jul 12, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Gartner raises global integrated circuit sales forecast

Staff writer, with CNA

Gartner Inc has raised its sales forecast for the global integrated circuit (IC) industry this year, as many major suppliers reported better-than-expected sales in the second quarter of the year.

In a research report published on its Web site, Gartner said it expects sales of the global IC industry to rise 6.7 percent from a year earlier to US$336 billion, an upward revision from an earlier estimate of a 5.4 percent rise.

Gartner singled out Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest semiconductor foundry operator.

TSMC posted NT$183.02 billion (US$6.12 billion) in consolidated sales in the second quarter, up 23.48 percent from the previous quarter, on the back of strong demand for mobile devices. The chipmaker’s second-quarter sales beat earlier estimated sales that ranged between NT$180 billion and NT$183 billion.

“Semiconductor sales growth this year has been and will continue to be seen across many chip types and applications, in particular DRAM chips, which could see an 18.8 percent increase in sales,” Gartner said.

It said the pricing power of DRAM suppliers remains solid this year, which will push the segment’s sales to top US$41 billion this year, although the segment could see a supply glut in 2016 that would weaken semiconductor growth.

The market researcher said other chips, including analogue ICs, field programmable gate array ICs, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and non-optical sensors are also expected to post strong sales this year.

ASICs, Gartner said, are expected to benefit from the launch of the next generation of iPhones by US-based Apple Inc later this year.

ASIC sales will also be driven by a new generation of game consoles, such as Sony Corp’s PS4 and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One, Gartner said.

It added that the non-memory chip segment is expected to register a 5.2 percent year-on-year sales increase this year, compared with only 0.8 percent last year.

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