World chip demand seen up 2.3% in 2002

By : |May 28, 2002 0



TOKYO: Global demand for semiconductors is expected to edge up 2.3 per cent
in 2002, rebounding lightly after last year’s worst-ever 32 per cent drop, World
Semiconductor Trade Statistics Inc, an industry group, said on Tuesday.

The organization also forecast that the market for dynamic random access
memory (DRAM) chips, a key product used in computers, would bounce 44.3 per cent
this year after last year’s devastating 61.3 per cent plunge.

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The global chip industry was battered by last year’s information technology
slump, which saw a retreat in demand for traditionally high-growth products such
as personal computers and cell phones. The industry’s woes were compounded by
high inventories built up during the IT boom.

The collapse in DRAM prices saddled many chipmakers with huge operating
losses, triggering a takeover drama at South Korea’s debt-burdened Hynix
Semiconductor Inc, the world’s third-largest DRAM maker, and spurring Toshiba
Corp, Japan’s largest chipmaker, to quit the business.

For the chip market as a whole, the WSTS forecast that, following this year’s
modest 2.3 per cent recovery to $142.2 billion, growth rates would pick up to
21.7 per cent in 2003 and 14.5 per cent in 2004. In 2005, growth is expected to
slow again to 3.2 per cent, although this would still be enough to push the
market above the record of $204.4 billion set in 2000.

The figures from WSTS, covering 67 major chipmakers worldwide, were released
by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association
(JEITA).

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