Taiwan starts to fret about semi industry's future

Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing investment is penned in for a short spike this year before it stagnates in 2012.

SEMI Taiwan’s top brass has said the book to bill ratio has been down this year, first slipping in April and as low as 0.9 by July. As is the way of these forecasts, SEMI’s Tseng Jui-yu reckons it’ll bounce back at first next year before slowing, again.

SEMI believes the final tally for material purchases this year will hit $45.9 billion, reaching $47.63 billion next year. Shipments will be somewhere between $43 billion and $44 billion. 

Others agreed that the industry is facing an interesting set of challenges. Even though right now is traditionally buying time, reports the Taipei Times, those familiar with the market claim they haven’t seen demand picking up in Q3, while another says sales will only reach single digit sales in the short-term, over the next couple of years. 

At the SEMICON 2011 conference about, guess what, semiconductors, the SEMI spokesman made clear to all of the worrywarts that Taiwan is a world hub for silicon. It’s the biggest buyer of equipment for years now, he says, and is doing better for that other island a flight away, Japan.

There are reasons to keep calm and carry on, according to analysts speaking to TechEye, however the seasonal irregularity doesn’t sit with just Taiwan – the economic conditions around the world are having a domino effect which is knocking both sales and inventory, from US debt to consumer apathy.