2Q spike reveals rainbow, cyclicality

August 6, 2009 – Maybe the maturing semiconductor industry is through with cyclical highs and lows spanning several years, but those cycles are alive and well if you drill down to a narrower scope, notes IC Insights.

The top 20 semiconductor suppliers saw their sales surge 21% in 2Q09 from the prior quarter, a 37 point swing from 1Q vs. 4Q, the firm calculates. Not only does that suggest the stormy downturn/collapse hit its worst in 1Q, but that the sun is coming out — inventories are now being rebuilt, just in time for seasonal demand in 3Q (IC Insights projects 8% sales growth). By 4Q09 growth will likely get back in line with the global economy and electronic system sales. (For all of 2009, chip sales are still projected to decline -17%.)

Among the top movers of product in 2Q: TSMC (also prepping a huge capex surge), Hynix (riding memory ASP recovery), and fabless firm MediaTek (helped by digital TV and wireless demand). Moving down the list: AMD (still competing with Intel), Freescale (auto industry exposure), and Fujitsu (flash, auto device slumps).

“Spurred by the bottoming of the worldwide economy from global recession in 1Q09, the semiconductor market is forecast to continue along its recovery path in the second half of this year and gain further momentum in 2010,” the firm writes.


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