Gartner cuts 2008 chip forecast by half
Citing a weak demand picture and slumping prices, Gartner Inc. has cut its worldwide chip forecast by nearly one-half.
In December, Gartner said that the overall IC market would grow by 6.2 per cent in 2008 over 2007. In its latest forecast, the firm said the semiconductor market will grow only 3.4 per cent in 2008.
The IC market is expected to rebound and grow by 9.4 per cent in 2009. The sector is expected to grow 6.5 per cent in 2010, 0.7 per cent in 2011 and 5.3 per cent in 2012, according to Gartner.
What prompted the changes in 2008? There are mixed signals in the market. First, the signs are ''pointing" to a slowdown or a U.S. recession, according to Gartner.
Most IC executives are not seeing a slowdown in orders, although visibility beyond the next quarter is ''poor,'' according to the firm.
The real problem is the memory market. The DRAM market has been in a ''recession'' since the start of 2007. DRAMs are expected to fall by 15 per cent in 2008 and the overall recovery in the sector could be pushed out until 2009, according to the firm.
NAND flash will grow less than 15 per cent in 2008, which is down from Gartner's previous forecast of some 30 per cent growth this year.
- Mark LaPedus
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