SIA: Looking for opportunities in slowdowns

August 30, 2010 – Another month, another record — and more signs that the chip industry might be softening a bit.

Summary of the July data is as follows:

  • Growth picked up slightly in all regions vs. June, notably in Japan (3.1% vs. 1.1%) and Europe (0.8% vs. -1.2%). Asia-Pacific was flat, vs. -0.5% in the prior month.
  • Year/year comparisons continue to narrow, as trailing figures pull further away from the bottom of the downturn in 2009. They’re still well into double-digits, though, led by the Americas (>50%).
  • The three-month moving average lost a little more steam, 6.0% growth in the rolling three months May-July, solely because of softness in the Asia Pacific region (4.3% growth, down from 6.6% in the previous three-month period). That’s down from ~12% growth in the 3-mo. period ended in May.
  • For the year through July, global semiconductor sales tallied $169.2B, an increase of 46.7% from the first seven months of 2009 ($115.3B).


Newly appointed SIA president Brian Toohey acknowledged indications of slower growth as the economy sputters, but pointed out in a statement that within such periods of slow economic growth can be found opportunities to proliferate semiconductors into a broad range of products.

And despite the vocal concerns about near-term softness (e.g. PC demand out of Asian subcons), Toohey said the SIA is sticking by its 2010 forecast of 28.4% growth, to roughly $290B. With ~$145B of that already in the bank through June, that would suggest the industry will slow to roughly flat growth through 2H10. (Or, perhaps single-digit growth continues in 3Q closing the holiday build season, followed by a decline in 4Q.)


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