IC Insights doubles forecast for chip market growth

March 27, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
IC Insights Inc. has increased its forecast for global chip market growth in 2018 to 15 percent on the basis that it now feels that DRAM and NAND flash markets will remain stronger for further into the year.

As recently as January 2018 IC Insights was saying the global chip market would grow by 8 percent (see Analog IC market growth to beat logic, memory ) and was roughly in line with fellow prognosticator Gartner Inc. which forecast a 7.5 percent growth (see Gartner increases 2018 global chip forecast ).

However, even after near doubling its forecast IC Insights' forecast is well below that of Future Horizons whose bullish CEO Malcolm Penn predicted the chip market would grow at between 16 and 23 percent in 2018 (see 2018 to be a $500 billion chip market, says Penn ).

At the time of his forecast in January Penn said that barring an economic collapse, "this recovery has nowhere-near run its course."

IC Insights said the biggest adjustments in its latest unit and average selling price estimates across 33 IC types were in the DRAM and NAND flash segments. The DRAM and NAND flash memory market growth forecasts for 2018 have been adjusted upward to 37 percent for DRAM compared with a previous figure of 13 percent and 17 percent for NAND flash compated with 10 percent.

The big increase in the DRAM market forecast for 2018 is primarily due to a much stronger ASP expected for this year than was originally forecast.  IC Insights now forecasts that the DRAM ASP will register a 36 percent jump in 2018 as compared to 2017, when the DRAM ASP surged by 81 percent.  Moreover, the NAND flash ASP is forecast to increase 10 percent this year, after jumping by 45 percent in 2017.  The 2018 unit volume growth for these product segments is expected to be up only 1 and 6 percent for DRAM and NAND, respectively.

On this basis the DRAM market is going to be worth $99.6 billion in 2018, IC Insights predicts while the NAND flash market will be worth $62.1 billion.

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