On track to surpass $400 billion in sales, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization raised its forecast to an annual growth rate of 20.6 percent in 2017 and seven percent in 2018, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). The largest growth categories include memory (60.1%), followed by sensors (15.9%). All geographical regions are forecast to grow.
Other market researchers including Gartner Inc. and IC Insights revised their semiconductor industry forecasts upward earlier this year due to exceptional growth in the memory device market. Gartner’s latest forecast indicates an increase of 19.7 percent, while IC Insights expects a 16 percent rise in sales. All forecasters attribute the revised chip forecasts to higher average selling prices (ASPs) and tight supply in the DRAM and NAND flash markets.
The SIA has endorsed the WSTS Autumn 2017 global semiconductor sales forecast of $408.7 billion. The organization also projects double-digit year-to-year increases across all regional markets in 2017: the Americas (31.9 percent), Asia Pacific (18.9 percent), Europe (16.3 percent), and Japan (12.6 percent). Growth in the semiconductor market is expected to moderate across all regions after 2017.
The latest monthly metrics, released by SIA, show global semiconductor sales in October increased by 21.9 percent year to year, reaching $37.1 billion. But sales were only up by 3.2 percent compared to last month. All monthly sales numbers are compiled by WSTS organization and represent a three-month moving average.
Although market growth was driven in part by high demand for memory products, the strong growth in combined sales of all other semiconductor products indicates the market’s strength, according to John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association.
By region, the Americas led with a year-to-year sales increase of 40.9 percent, followed by Europe (19.5 percent), China (19.1 percent), Asia Pacific/All Other (16.3 percent), and Japan (10.7 percent). When compared with last month, sales were up slightly across all regions: the Americas (6.8 percent), China (2.6 percent), Europe (2.6 percent), Japan (1.8 percent), and Asia Pacific/All Other (1.5 percent).
Monthly metrics also show that China remains the biggest buyer of chip devices. China’s month-to-month sales grew 2.6 percent, reaching $11.65 billion in October, followed by Asia Pacific/All other ($10.33 billion), Americas ($8.54 billion), Europe ($3.37 billion), and Japan ($3.20 billion). However, the Americas experienced the largest growth rate in October, up 6.8 percent.