Gartner: 2012 semiconductor revenue up 4% on last year

1 min read

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is projected to total $316billion in 2012, a 4% increase from 2011, according to Gartner. This outlook is up from Gartner's previous forecast in Q4 2011 for 2.2%.

"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, Gartner believes that dram pricing will improve, beginning in Q2 2012. The dram market is forecast to show a slight revenue increase in 2012 - up 0.9% from 2011 - after being the worst performing market in 2011, declining 25%. DRAM prices were down about 50% in 2011 and Gartner analysts expect pricing to rebound in part due to Elpida filing bankruptcy protection. Gartner forecasts that nand flash memory will be one of the fastest growing device types in 2012, with revenue expected to grow 18%. Analysts attribute the nand flash growth to a strong increase in mobile consumer devices and solid state drives. Media tablet unit production is forecast to increase 78% over 2011 and the analyst believes semiconductor revenue from media tablets will reach $9.5billion in 2012. Quad core processors and higher resolution displays are forecast to be mainstream for tablets in 2012. PC unit production in 2012 is projected to increase 4.7% and semiconductor revenue from pcs is forecasted at $57.8bn. Mobile phone unit production is expected to grow 6.7%, with semiconductor revenue for mobile phones totaling $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. "2012 should be a reasonably strong year for the semiconductor industry if the macroeconomic outlook stays in check," said Lewis. "Gartner's 2012 semiconductor forecast of 4% growth assumes the European debt issues stay contained, Iran/Israel tensions stay in check and solid growth from China."