Gartner predicts sunny spells for global chip sales

Beancounters at Gartner have been looking in their tea leaves and are convinced that either global chip sales are expected to rise 27 percent this year or one of them will win the lottery.

The reading makes sense as there have been sharply higher memory prices and boosted production forecasts for a number of consumer products, and a bloke from accounts bought a ticket.

The cynics in the outfit point to below-average chip-sales growth in the second half claiming that semiconductor revenue will realign with electronic-systems sales. The bloke has bought tickets in the past, but never won anything, the nay sayers say.

However Gartner expects global semiconductor revenue will reach $290 billion, an improvement from its projection for nearly 20 per cent growth made in the first quarter.

Bryan Lewis of Gartner noted, “Sequential semiconductor growth has been very strong over the last five quarters, well above seasonal norms, and manufacturing capacity is tight.” However, “chip revenue growth is clearly outpacing system revenue growth and that is a concern.”

Gartner also raised its production forecast for PCs, mobile phones, automotive and some other consumer products. Gartner now expects PC processor revenue to rise 16 percent, compared with its prior view for 10 percent, as average selling prices firm up.

Sales of dynamic random access memory chips are expected to soar 78 percent, with some analysts predicting that demand for media tablets will noticeably impact the market by 2013, further fuelling growth.