Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Fourth-quarter reprieve brings little relief to semiconductor market, but spurs 2013 rebound


April 10, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Despite stronger-than-expected growth during the fourth quarter, 2012 was still a miserable year for the semiconductor market and suppliers, with only eight out of the top 25 chipmakers managing to eke out revenue growth—but nine suffering double-digit declines.

Global semiconductor revenue in 2012 declined by 2.2 percent from 2011, according to final results from the IHS iSuppli Competitive Landscaping Tool (CLT) from information and analytics provider IHS. The preliminary forecast issued by IHS in December projected a drop of 2.3 per cent.

The modest improvement in the final results came from year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter that came in slightly better than estimated, topping out at a 2.8 per cent increase. The preliminary estimate had predicted a 1.9 per cent expansion.

“The last three months were the only quarter in 2012 that generated a year-over-year increase in semiconductor market revenue, but that growth was too little and too late to salvage a terrible year for chipmakers,” said Dale Ford, senior director at IHS. “Even so, the stronger performance in the fourth quarter represents a positive signal for the semiconductor market, marking the beginning of a new growth cycle in the industry that will be sustained though 2013. IHS predicts global semiconductor revenue will rise by 5.6 per cent in 2013, bringing an end to the slump of 2012.”

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