Global semiconductor revenue to grow

The global semiconductor market will rake in around $316 billion in revenue in 2012, Gartner has said.

The analyst house has said this is a four percent increase from 2011 and 2.2 percent growth on its previous forecast in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

The rise, according to Gartner, is as a result of the industry being poised for a rebound starting in the second quarter of  this year. It said this was due to the inventory correction finishing in this quarter and lower foundry utilisation rates.

Over in the memory department, Gartner predicts DRAM pricing will improve at the start of the second quarter with a 0.9 percent revenue increase.

This is positive compared to 2011, which the company described as “the worst-performing market,” and saw a 50 percent decline in revenue.  

Elpida’s bankruptcy has also changed the figures with Gartner claiming that this has helped prices rebound. However, it is NAND which is reigning with the research calling it one of the fastest-growing device types in 2012. It predicts revenue for this market will grow by 18 percent this year as a result of a strong increase in mobile devices and solid-state drives. 

Media tablet unit production is also doing well, with a predicted rise of 78 percent, and semiconductor revenue from this sector is said to reach around $9.5 billion in 2012. There’s also an increase in PC unit production, which will rise 4.7 percent bringing in $57.8 billion in semiconductor revenue, while mobile phone unit production is expected to grow 6.7 percent. Around $57.2 billion will be made in semiconductor revenue. 

However, the buoyant market hinges on a few not-so-tiny-things with Gartner claiming that the four percent increase will only remain if European debt stay contained, Iran/Israel tensions stay in check, and there’s solid growth from China.

Gartner could be counting its chickens before they hatch. A recent report by the Semiconductor Industry Association said that semiconductor sales were falling. 

Earlier this month the organisation said it had seen sales slide to $23.1 billion in January, down 2.7 percent from $23.8 billion.

January chip sales were also down 8.8 percent. However, it did say there are signs pointing to recovery and growth as the year went on.

It said this would be driven by an improved US economic outlook and the resolution to the floods in Thailand, the SIA said.