Gartner is forecasting that worldwide semiconductor revenue will rise to $354 billion in 2015, a 4 percent increase from 2014, but down from the previous quarter’s forecast of 5.4 percent. Gartner’s growth forecast is lower than a 5% forecast given by IHS Technologies.
"Concern is mounting about semiconductor revenue growth in 2015 as system suppliers start to grapple with the rapid depreciation in value of global currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, excess inventories in the semiconductor and electronics supply chains, and the end of a PC upgrade cycle," said Bryan Lewis, research vice president at Gartner. "The downward revision from last quarter’s forecast is due to these three factors combining to create a significant headwind for the semiconductor market in 2015."
From an application point of view, smartphones, solid-state drives (SSDs) and ultramobiles will see the largest semiconductor growth, while the traditional PC segment will experience the greatest decline. The end of support for Windows XP, which lifted replacement demand for traditional PCs, particularly in the professional market, faded out in late 2014. Through 2015, the replacement demand is expected to remain muted, as consumers delay migrating to Windows 10. The next critical season for the PC and ultramobile markets is in the third quarter of 2015, when Windows 10 and Intel’s Skylake products come to market.
The 2015 chip market will depend on the strength of the second-quarter bounce, according to Lewis. Lewis reckons 1Q15 showed the worst sequential decline since 2009 with at least a 7 percent decline.
A strong second quarter bounce will be required to achieve 4% growth for the year, Gartner said. Intel’s recent second quarter’s mid-point sequential revenue guidance of a 3.3 percent increase was in-line with the expected industry re-bound.
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