IC Insights forecasts 1.55 billion cellular phones will ship in 2011, a 9% increase over the 1.4 billion shipped in 2010.
Apple has proposed a standardized SIM card smaller than those it currently uses in the iPhone and iPad in order to be able to produce thinner devices, an Orange executive was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
Rumors circulated that Apple may have chosen to TSMC as their new fab in response to new competition from Samsung in the handset and tablet space. Based on analysis performed by UBM TechInsights Lab and Process Analysis personnel, we can say that the A5 in our possession is definitely manufactured by Samsung using their 45nm process.
The recession caused fab tool vendors to de-accelerate their investments and programs in 450mm. As a result, 450mm production has been delayed at least to 2017 or 2018, said Trevor Yancey, an analyst with IC Insights.
This agreement covers the use of Rambus patented innovations in a broad range of logic IC products offered by Renesas Electronics.
"Overall, the SIA forecast for 2012 looks like the "death" of the semiconductor industry, and we couldn't disagree more!" said Bill McClean, president of IC Insights. In IC Insights opinion, 2012 has tremendous upside potential for the semiconductor industry.
Sematech has announced the completion of its 300mm 3D IC pilot line. Operating at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's (CNSE) Albany NanoTech Complex, the pilot line includes all processes and test vehicles necessary to demonstrate the viability of the via-mid technology in conjunction with advanced CMOS.
There appears to be a sudden slowdown in the cell-phone, LCD, LED, PC and other product segments - a trend that impacts chipmakers. And chip inventories are on the rise. Still, VLSI Research has raised its chip and fab tool forecasts for 2010.
Samsung has seen its semiconductor revenues rise at CAGR of 13.5% from 1999-2009, while Intel's sales have increased at a CAGR of just 3.4% in the same period. Extrapolating these growth rates, Samsung would pass Intel in semiconductor sales in 2014, according to IC Insights.
Korea-based specialty IC foundry Dongbu HiTek has revealed plans to open sales offices in France and Italy, gearing to expand its customer base in Europe.
IC Insights' recently updated Strategic Reviews Online database shows that most large memory and foundry companies performed extremely well in 1H10.
Providing a rare glimpse inside an IC design and R&D center in China, Freescale Semiconductor revealed that it plans to expand its efforts amid booming demand in the nation.
Toshiba, Hynix, Micron and Elpida all moved up at least one position in the top 20 list, with Elpida jumping six spots.
Most believe TSMC will remain a foundry in the IC sector, but not in LEDs. There is little or no business model in the LED foundry sector. Most LED vendors have their own fabs and the startup costs are minor compared to the IC industry. The real value-added in LEDs is technology and the channels.
The IC industry is recovering, but there are also signs of growing chip inventories in the channels. VLSI Research said IC inventories reached US$24.38 billion worldwide in February, a 46% increase from the same month in 2009.
A recent research by SEMI indicates China is committed to narrow the gap between its IC production and consumption. "In addition to investments in the macro economy, the Chinese government also remains the biggest investor in the semiconductor industry in China..."
Thin-film integrated passive devices (IPDs) have the potential to extend wafer-level packaging and through-silicon via (TSV) technology to many IC package solutions and the discrete passive component industry. This market could expand from US$600 million this year to reach beyond US$1 billion by 2013.
If the current IC recovery will continue or fall back into a dreaded double dip, specialty foundry vendors also see a new competitive threat on the horizon: TSMC.
"Despite positive earnings pre-announcements, the overall tone from companies remains relatively muted and cautious," said Doug Freedman, an analyst for Broadpoint AmTech.
"IC-packaging will almost certainly happen in Vietnam, but it has been delayed by one or two years..."
Although the overall semiconductor market is expected to drop by 46% in 2009, it shows signs of rapid recovery, according to The Information Network market research company.
Converge also reports that demand for DDR3 modules remains strong, with supplies limited, and that Xeons and AMD Opterons are the drivers for cost savings in the CPU space.
The electronics supply chain remains pessimistic and appears to believe we have not yet seen the bottom of the recession, according to a survey of more than 230 electronics supply chain decision makers.
AP (via Forbes)
The Economic Times
According to IC Insights' update to its 2009 forecast, released Thursday, the "perfect storm" of negative factors that have damaged business in the first half of 2009 will bring about a much more "friendly" environment for the IC industry in the second half of the year.
Responding to the IC downturn, Microchip Technology has lowered its forecast, taken pay cuts and reduced its IC production rates. "General economic and semiconductor industry conditions have continued to decline since our October earnings call," said Steve Sanghi, Microchip's president and CEO, in a statement. "As a result of these conditions, we are continuing with a pay cut for all of our worldwide non-manufacturing employees which was implemented during the December quarter."
Market research group Gartner has lowered its forecast for semiconductor equipment manufacturing gear sales in 2009, just weeks after a previous downgrade.