Global IC revenue to grow nearly 32% in 2010, says Gartner

gartnerlogoStamford, Conn. — The global semiconductor market is expected to reach $300 billion in 2010, a 31.5 percent increase from 2009 revenue of $228 billion, according to Gartner’s 3Q10 forecast.

Gartner’s report, “Semiconductor Forecast Worldwide: Forecast Database” (SEQS-WW-DB-DATA) also projects that worldwide semiconductor revenue will reach $314 billion in 2011, a 4.6 percent increase from 2010.

“Semiconductor growth in the first half of 2010 was very strong, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the industry cannot maintain the momentum in the second half of 2010 and into 2011,” said Bryan Lewis, research vice president for Gartner. “While the impact of the European credit crisis has subsided, the global economic recovery is slowing, and there is concern that electronic equipment vendors are adopting a cautious stance, ready to cut production at the first signs of slowing customer orders.”

Gartner analysts said that consumer PC purchases in mature markets were slightly weaker than expected in the second quarter, and the outlook for the third quarter is below seasonal growth, causing lower unit growth projections for PC production in the second half of 2010.

The good news is that high demand for media tablets are partially offsetting the weakness in the consumer PC market, and the outlook for the mobile phone market has been improving throughout 2010, said Gartner.

Application-specific semiconductors for the phone market are experiencing strong competitive pressure, with revenue growing about 13 percent in 2010, according to Gartner.

However, in the memory arena, DRAM revenue is set to peak in 2010, while NAND revenue will continue to grow through 2013 thanks to strong sales of smartphones and media tablets, said Gartner.

Due to early strength in the PC market and supply constraints, the DRAM industry has been very profitable, said Gartner, with revenue set to increase by 82.5 percent to nearly $42 billion in 2010. However, this will start to change during the second half of 2011, said Gartner.

The market researcher expects a DRAM downturn in 2012 as sales decline 29 percent.

Smartphones continue to drive the mobile-phone semiconductor market, representing 18 percent of units and 36 percent of overall 2010 mobile-phone semiconductor revenue, said Gartner. The market researcher projects these numbers will increase to 41 percent of units and 64 percent of mobile phone semiconductor revenue by 2014, as entry-level smartphones trigger a second wave of growth in the market.