Memory and analog chips growing (even) faster than earlier forecast
SAN FRANCISCO — The global semiconductor market will grow by 12.4 percent in 2018, reaching $463 billion, according to the latest forecast from World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, an organization of more than 55 chip suppliers that pools sales data.
The latest forecast is more bullish than the original WSTS forecast for 2018, issued last November. That forecast called for chip sales to increase by 7 percent. Sales are expected to increase across all product categories and in all regions of the world.
WSTS said it raised the chip sales forecast based on continued extraordinary growth in the memory segment as well as strong growth in analog chips. Those two markets are expected to grow by 26.5 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively, this year.
The forecast calls for sales to increase by a furter 4.4 percent in 2019, reaching $484 billion.
As is typically the case, the latest WSTS forecast is slightly less bullish than forecasts issued by some market watchers. IC Insights said in March that it expects chip sales to increase by 15 percent in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) trade group reported that, based on WSTS sales data, the three-month average of semiconductor sales reached $37.6 billion in April, up 1.4 percent from March and up 20.2 percent compared to April 2017.
John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO, said through a statement that the industry has posted year-to-year sales growth of more than 20 percent for 13 straight months.
"Although boosted in part by impressive growth in the memory market, sales of non-memory products also grew by double digits in April on a year-to-year basis, and all major regional markets posted double-digit year-to-year gains," Neuffer said.
April sales increased year-to-year by 34.1 percent in the Americas region, 22.1 percent in China, 21.4 percent in Europe, 14.6 percent in Japan and 10.2 percent in the Asia-Pacific region. Sales also grew slightly on a month-to-month basis in all regions except for Asia-Pacific, which posted a slight decrease of 0.8 percent.
— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.