Chips 'could grow 30%'

Chips ‘could grow 30%’
Malcolm Penn of Future Horizons reckons semiconductor market will recover if memory prices stabilise. David Manners The world semiconductor market will grow by 30 per cent if memory prices stabilise this year, said Malcolm Penn, chairman of Future Horizons. He made his comments at the company’s annual International Semiconductor Forecast Seminar in London. “If DRAM prices stabilise then the DRAM market’s value will grow by the same amount as the bit growth,” said Penn. “And if that is the same as last year – 90 per cent – then the DRAM market doubles.” With DRAM representing 30 per cent of the market, that means the total semiconductor market could grow 30 per cent. The Future Horizons official forecast for growth this year is 11 per cent for the world and 14 per cent for Europe. “The downside risk is the world economy, which is shaky at best and could forestall the whole thing,” said Penn. What might make the forecast conservative is that severe cutbacks in capacity have left the industry uncertain of what to do next. “No one wants to be the first person to build a 300mm fab and no one wants to be the last person to build a 300mm fab,” said Penn, “so no one does anything.” Future Horizons’ 11 per cent growth forecast compares with Dataquest’s latest forecast of 14.6 per cent, Instat’s of 10 per cent, Pathfinder’s of 11.3 per cent, IDC’s of 8 per cent, VLSI’s of 6 per cent, WSTS at 7 per cent and IC Insights at 11 per cent


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