Poor Memory Hampers 2007 Growth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Wednesday, 19 March 2008 06:47
EL SEGUNDO, CA — Surprising fourth-quarter weakness in the memory chip market took the wind out of the sails of the global semiconductor market, causing 2007 growth to fall short of expectations, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global semiconductor market revenue grew 3.3% in 2007, iSuppli says, lower than the firm's 4.1% estimate in November.

For the quarter, semi revenues fell 0.5%, but were up 2.4% excluding memory.

Worldwide DRAM revenue fell 19.1% sequentially in the fourth quarter, below the November estimate of a 4.7% drop. NAND flash revenue declined 3.9%. Overall, memory chip revenue fell 11% sequentially.

“This was a complete role reversal for memory semiconductors compared to 2006,” said Dale Ford, senior vice president, market intelligence, for iSuppli. “During the second half of 2006, memory IC revenues helped to prop up the growth of the overall semiconductor industry. In 2007, the poor results for memory chips restrained overall market growth.”

Application-specific standard products and ASICs enjoyed the strongest performance of all semiconductor segments in 2007 with growth of 12.9%. Sony and Toshiba were the key drivers of growth in this segment due to sales of semiconductors for the PS3 game console. Optical semiconductors were up 7.4%, and discretes grew 4.2%. Overall, microprocessor revenue grew 2.1%.
 

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