June 4, 2012 — Dan Hutcheson, VLSI Research Inc. spoke with Solid State Technology editor-in-chief Pete Singer at The ConFab 2012. Hutcheson presented on the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry.
“Most people make the mistake of looking at quarterly data or monthly data,” said Hutcheson, who recommends looking at weekly data. Seeing just one data point makes people unsure if they’re seeing a trend or an anomaly. If you miss a trend, you’ll miss the upturn or downturn in the cycle.
Different series of data should be considered all together — capacity, chip price, inventories, etc. — and make sure you know which are leading and which are coincident, Hutcheson said.
What does H2 2012 look like? Hutcheson sees chip price performance strengthening, and weekly data seems to indicate that semiconductors already hit the bottom of a cycle and are developing a positive growth trend. As long as Europe doesn’t deteriorate macro-economically, the semiconductor industry “looks pretty good.” That’s why many semiconductor makers are increasing their capital expenditure (capex) budgets for new equipment.
Go deeper into Hutcheson’s methodology and data sets with a look at his presentation highlights from The ConFab session, "The Economic Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry," in How to prevail over silicon cycles.