Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crisis and semiconductors

semiconductorsIt would be strange if the global crisis must not bypass the semiconductor industry - one of the largest industries in the world. In recent weeks, various analytical agencies have issued a number of estimates and projections relating to the world market for semiconductor products. Of course, the evaluation of these different, but we, in turn, will try not only to review the agreement, but as something to bring them to a common denominator.

All analysts, without exception, recognize: the current economic crisis is already having a significant adverse impact on the semiconductor manufacturing industry products. According to Gartner, the growth of global semiconductor production market in 2009 is expected to be 1%, which is about 7% lower than earlier projections. Earlier in the III quarter of this year, experts from the agency predicted that the income of producers of semiconductors in 2009 will grow by 7,8% compared to 2008-m and reach $ 307.7 billion now Gartner analysts have adjusted the growth of this market in 2009 to $ 282 billion ( lower at $ 25.7 billion). Growth in 2009 by only 1% more than in 2008. Despite the proven expectations of III quarter of 2008 (quarterly growth rate of the semiconductor industry accounted for 5%), projections for the IV quarter continued to fall. According to Gartner, revenue in the semiconductor industry as a result of 2008 will grow only 2% to $ 279.4 billion, in turn, the company IDC, in its analyst report notes that the volume of shipments of microprocessors for PCs in the III-rd quarter of 2008 again reached the record levels, however, the prognosis for the last quarter of 2008 and for 2009 not obvious. Volume shipments of microprocessors for PCs in the III quarter has grown by 14% as compared to II quarter and 15.8% as compared to III quarter of 2007. This significant contribution to the work of industry, introduced a new microprocessor for the Intel netbukov - without it, the volume of shipments grew at a quarterly 8.3%, and for the year - at 8.7%. The volume of the market in monetary terms, reaching $ 8.3 billion (quarterly growth of 7.6% growth for the year 4.1%). Supplies of Intel and AMD in the III quarter were at a level slightly lower than typical for this period. If you look at segments, growth in the segment of microprocessors for mobile PCs have been higher in the segment servers - sluggish, say analysts IDC. Intel, on the basis of block III is the leader in market share 80,8%, AMD took 18.5% of the market, and Via Technologies - 0,6%. Due to good market performance during the first three quarters of this year and a large volume of sales Atom IDC raised its forecast for growth of the market for PC microprocessors in the current year up to 18%. Nevertheless, because of the anticipated weak demand and uncertain forecasts from Intel and AMD analysts give a conservative forecast for the volume of shipments in 2009.

Company iSuppli analysts also believe that the financial crisis will cause a slowdown markets semiconductors and processors. As iSuppli has reduced the forecast of market growth of semiconductors in 2008 from 4% to 3.5%. The company is also confident that the microprocessor market will grow by only 0.4% instead of previously planned 2.7%. Analysts believe that the financial crisis impact on several segments of the market of semiconductors. In particular, they are confident that the demand for consumer electronics, as well as many producers are unable to obtain loans for business development. In the past month, analysts iSuppli also reported a reduction in forecast sales of chips in 2008. They estimate that this year sales of $ 280.1 billion that will be at 3,5% higher compared to last year. The last adjustment was in August - up to 4%. Over the next four years (2008-2012 gg.) Market continues to grow, but insignificant rate - about 6%. Vice President Dale Ford, iSuppli commented so happens: «The financial crisis affect the semiconductor market is gradually and completely. In the first stage, from buying new electronic equipment declined banks. In the second phase, more importantly, the crisis has touched the corporate sector. Most companies can not borrow, and therefore their leaders decide to save, including the equipment. The third and final phase of the crisis has reached the ordinary users. This segment of consumers is the most extensive and most important ».

Financial statements and projections chipmeykerov confirm analysts' fears. Even the largest manufacturer of processors - Intel - officially acknowledged that the crisis could adversely affect its business. Smaller producers, however, have much worse. Thus, the largest contract chip manufacturer TSMC (Taiwan), said recently that he expects 20% decline in demand for its products in the IV quarter of this year. President and Dutch NXP Semiconductors CEO Frans van Houten said: «The financial crisis and market semiconductor components have caused the rapid decline in demand by the end of III quarter, particularly in the areas of automotive and consumer electronics. We are convinced of the need for deliberate action and reduce costs - this will prepare us to work in difficult market conditions ». According to the published report did not so long ago, the sale of NXP in III quarter decreased by 4.2% compared to same period last year. The supplier expects demand for its chips in the IV quarter of an additional 8-14%. The losses of American manufacturers of chips Micron Technology for the quarter ended August 28 amounted to $ 344 million and net loss for the entire 2008 fiscal year reached a level of $ 1.6 billion and led to such disastrous results as the time the flash memory, demand for which declined significantly. Both companies are part of the top 15 largest chipmeykerov (annual rating iSuppli for the last year). Incidentally, referring to Intel: the representatives of the corporation told about what exactly the impact of economic crisis could have on the company's activities. Possible negative effects discussed quite a lot, but there are key among them: - the delay of release of different products because of problems at major suppliers;
- The inability of buyers to get loans for the purchase of products that leads to a decrease in sales;
- A decrease of investment in the company.

In addition, Intel said that, judging by the III quarter sales, the demand IV quarter should be very good, but the global economic situation could make their adjustments.

A separate issue - the global market for NAND-memory. The research company iSuppli, in its updated forecast he predicted further decline. At the end of 2008, its volume reduced by 14% to $ 12 billion in 2009 - at 15% to $ 10,2 billion Former iSuppli forecasts were more optimistic: a reduction in global industry revenues by 3% in 2008 and an increase of 12% in 2009. As noted in iSuppli, in this year's market NAND-memory for the first time may show negative growth. According to the research company, the majority of consumers have already received the needed volumes of USB-drives and flash cards and do not intend in the near future to acquire storage size. In such circumstances cease to work effectively and tactics to reduce prices, worked until recently. However, as predicted in iSuppli, reducing the cost of memory continues. In 2008, the average cost of 1 Gb NAND-memory decline by 62%, and in 2009 - a further 50%. Meanwhile, falling prices for flash-type NAND specialists called «secret weapon» Corporation Apple, allowing it to retain profits at the level of higher than expected earlier. Due to the negative trends in NAND-market Apple can improve profitability and increase the amount of memory produced by devices - like iPod and iPhone, and laptops. In particular, they can make greater use SSD drives instead of traditional hard disk drives - the first step in this direction Apple has made, presenting the possibility of optional equipment Disk SSD Laptop MacBook Pro.

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