Semiconductor market grows by a third

Analysts, or soothsayers as they once were called, working for Gartner foresee the semiconductor industry having revenues worth $300 billion by the end of this year, a rather nice surge of 31.5 percent over last year’s worldwide revenues of $228 billion.

Gartner originally expected the chip market to grow 27.1 percent this year. Next year, however, things will cool down quite a bit, as growth is expected to be a mere 4.6 percent for the full year of 2011.

Gartner doesn’t see too much growth in the third and fourth quarter this year, citing Intel recently having to bump down its guidance as an example, as well as the company’s own rune casting which says consumers won’t be spending too much on new PCs during the last remaining months of this year. 

Nonetheless, DRAM and chipsets for smartphones will continue to drive the market. Around 13 percent not-so-strong growth is expected for the embattled mobile market, where everyone is dug in their trenches. Gartner’s analysts say there is “intense competitive pressure” for “application-specific semiconductors”, however since all of the smartphones are running on ARM-based cores Warren East will be relaxing at the pool.

As for DRAM, growth will climb the top of the mountain this year and increase by 82.5 percent to approximately $42 billion. Gartner does expect DRAM demand to trip and take a tumble, falling around 29 percent next year. Flash memory will stay strong and on the rise until 2013, as everyone wants to show off a smartphone or a tablet.

The bits and pieces Gartner learned from looking at the market’s entrails are more or less in line with the Semiconductor Industry Association’s (SIA) figures, which were released two days ago. SIA expects the worldwide market to grow 28.4 percent this year.