As always, it’s the memory guys who drive the boom and bust.
Micron had y-o-y February growth of 56%.
Samsung is forecasting 48% Q1 growth based on the soaring price of memory.
Toshiba’s chip business, mostly memory, is said to have attracted a bid of $30 billion and two of around $20 billion.
All of a sudden the memory industry seems to be embarked on one of its rollercoaster upswings.
And the rest of the industry is following in its wake.
The SOX is up 10% on the year after 37% growth in 2016.
The SIA reported y-o-y February growth of 16.5%.
IC Insights doubled its forecast for the year to 11%.
To pour a little rain on this parade it must be said that the SOX performance probably owes more to M&A than to companies’ financial performance and the memory sales growth figures probably owe more to constrained supply and consequent rising prices than expanding markets.
But there are expanding markets – auto, medical, data centre and mobile – although no sign of a much-needed new killer app.