SAN JOSE, Calif. -- 2009 started off bad, but the year is now seeing some positive signs.
Thankfully, the IC industry is seeing a recovery. But what about 2010? Heading into 2010, there are both good and bad signs in the marketplace. Here's what various analysts think:
1. Seasonal demand for ICs is better than expected. Craig Berger, an analyst for FBR, said: ''Recent checks with Asian chip distributors suggest their 4Q chip shipments should fall 4-to-8 percent sequentially, better than our month-ago checks of minus 10 percent sequentially, driven by strong industrial, consumer, and smartphone chip orders in November. Specifically, mid-single-digit month-over-month growth in November was better than our forecast of a mid-single-digit month-over-month decline as a robust Golden Week holiday required downstream OEMs to place rush orders for Christmas and provided confidence to begin placing orders for Chinese New Years (mid February).''
2. Companies are raising guidance, such as Altera, Amkor, AuthenTec, Fairchild, IR, Vishay, Xilinx and others. Berger of FBR said: ''For 4Q, we believe Atmel's revenues are tracking at or above the high end of guidance of $327 million to $340 million (3-to-7 percent up sequentially), better than the consensus estimate of $335 million.''
3. Demand to pick up in 2010. Doug Freedman, an analyst at Broadpoint AmTech, said: ''In the near-term we are bullish on electronic equipment unit demand (minus 5-to-10 percent in 2009, plus 15-to-25 percent in 2010); however, this is offset by our bearish view on terminal growth rates. We believe 5- and 10-year CAGRs will be 5 percent versus more bullish consensus estimates of 8-to-10 percent.'' We believe overall long lead times and lean inventory throughout the supply chain continue to help drive above-seasonal results in Q4 and Q1 guidance. We also believe 2Q10 shipment results are likely to be above seasonal with a return to normal or below normal seasonal patterns in 3Q10 and 4Q10.''
4. PCs up in 2010. Freedman of Broadpoint AmTech said: ''MPUs should benefit from notebook and server unit strength. We believe notebook unit growth will be above 20 percent year-over-year expectations and may exceed 25 percent year-over-year. We expect server MPU ASPs and units (13 million units) will drive improved margin mix.''
5. A DRAM rebound? Andrew Norwood, an analyst at Gartner, said: ''Gartner expects January 2010 pricing to be down for DDR2 as demand continues to reduce and supply, especially from Taiwan, increases. DDR3 pricing is harder to predict and will, at best, remain flat or else see small price declines. A return to mild pricing declines in the contract market will be a good thing, as DRAM content in PCs is already above 10 percent of bill of materials (a historic pressure point for PC OEMs) for high-end and midrange machines. Pricing easing during the next few months will allow PC OEMs to slowly increase the gigabyte content of their PC lines and therefore create a healthy demand environment in 2010, which will in turn soak up the increasing capacity in the second half of 2010 that comes from the move to 40 nm technology by the major vendors.''
6. NAND to grow. Joseph Unsworth, an analyst with Gartner, said: ''The outlook for the remainder of December is that pricing is likely to remain soft, but given optimism during recent channel checks, it appears that prices will remain stable leading into 2010 before sliding again in the second quarter. The year 2010 will be a strong one for NAND vendors (with revenue growth of more than 20 percent), but exactly how strong will be influenced by NAND customer sentiment, gauged at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January.''
7. LEDs are another bright spot. Jagdish Rebello, director and principal analyst at iSuppli, said: "The LED industry is on the threshold of a new expansion phase--a phase that will be characterized by growth rates in the high double digits during the next three years. This growth will be driven by the increased adoption of high brightness (HB) and high flux--also referred to as high power or ultra high brightness (UHB)--LEDs into a new range of next-generation lighting applications. Global LED revenue will expand by 10.9 percent in 2009 to reach $7.4 billion, up from $6.7 billion in 2008. This comes in stark contrast to the overall semiconductor market, which is expected to contract by 12.4 percent in 2009 because of the slowdown in the global economy. By 2013, the global LED market will reach $14.3 billion, nearly double from 2009.''
8. Solar is sunny. Edwin Mok, an analyst with Needham & Co., said: ''Heading into 2010, we are seeing strong demand in several key regions including Germany, Italy and the U.S. Industry participants have confirmed that the near term strength should extend into at least 1H10. In 2010, we continue to believe the U.S. solar market will see substantial growth driven by increased availability of federal stimulus spending and a number of state/local subsidies.''
9. TVs in cars? Richard Robinson, an analyst with iSuppli, said: ''Worldwide shipments of mobile television systems for cars, consisting both of solutions embedded into autos and included in Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs), are expected to more than double from 2009 to 2015. Global automotive mobile television shipments are expected to exceed 17 million units in 2015, up from 8 million in 2009. Car passengers will be able to take advantage of live television services in an increasing number of vehicles with embedded front and rear displays."
10. Connected cars roll. Egil Juliussen, principal analyst and fellow for iSuppli, said: ''An estimated 62.3 million global consumers will have Internet access in their cars by 2016, up from 970,000 at the end of 2009. With smart phones having become more affordable and ubiquitous, consumers are demanding Internet connectivity in cars. Car makers are serving this demand by adding various forms of Internet connectivity to cars."
Source : EE Times.
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