IC cycles shrinking, and don’t bet on AMD or India

by James Montgomery, News Editor

Another point reiterated at the SEMI breakfast was that the industry cycles are shrinking, to the point where we’re practically seeing “minicycles” in a single year, noted Bill McClean. He has updated IC Insights’ ubiquitous “IC Industry cycle” eight-stage wheel to list one year/stage instead of 2-3 years or more, and noted that it’s starting to feel like the industry is racing through the cycles on a quarterly basis.

McClean pointed out that the IC industry is in an unprecedented five straight years of double-digit growth. Prior years with more than a 4% IC industry decline from 1Q to 4Q have all been negative (1985, 1996, 1998, 2001), and this year “is going to be close,” he said, though health in the analog segment may prop up growth at 5% or more. Another stabilizing factor is in Europe’s GDP, he noted, citing Germany where taxes haven’t slowed the economy as feared.

He also showed data about TSMC’s revenue per wafer vs. capacity utilization to illustrate how fast those rates can swing


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