By Jim Harrison
At SEMICON West, industry organization SEMI provided some industry insights with two presentations. SEMI has more than 2,000 member companies in the science and business of electronics manufacturing. The first talk was by Denny McGuirk, President and CEO, who noted the two main happenings in the semiconductor industry: massive industry consolidation and realignment ($100 billion in M&A) and increasing demand for IoT and smart manufacturing.
Then Dan Tracy, senior director, industry research and statistics, took the stage. Dan noted that the growth rate for cell phones is nearing saturation. In 2013, it was about 42%, and the forecast for 2016 is 8%. You don’t want to stop looking at phones, however; SEMI expects sales of 1.5 billion cell phones in 2016. PC sales continued to drop, but not a lot. Sales are forecasted to be 483 million PC, tablet, and cloud computing units in 2016 versus 493 million in 2015.
Semiconductor revenue is forecasted to decline by 2.4% in 2016, after a 0.8% decline last year. Ever-hopeful SEMI predicts a 2% rise in 2017. IC unit sales are up 1.2% from last year, but semiconductor production equipment bookings are down 1.4%. Dan said that 19 new fabs will begin construction in 2016 and 2017; 10 of those are in China.