IDC Trims Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue Outlook

Paul Lilly

Global semiconductor revenues will grow 4.9 percent to $315 billion in 2013, according to IDC.

International Data Corporation (IDC) revised its global semiconductor revenues outlook for 2012 and 2013, cutting its forecast by billions of dollars based on a number of factors. The market research firm now expects global semiconductor sales to grow less than 1 percent to $304 billion in 2012, compared to a previous forecast of 4.6 percent growth to $315 billion. In 2013, IDC said it expects revenues to grow 4.9 percent to $315, down from a previous forecast of $335 billion on 6.2 percent growth.

Reasons for the downward adjusted forecasts are many and include weakness in PC demand, DRAM, and overall memory price deterioration, semiconductor inventory rationalization, global macroeconomic uncertainty from lower global GDP growth, a slowdown in China, the Eurozone debt crisis and recession, Japan's recession, and ongoing fear of the so-called fiscal cliff, which will have an impact on IT spending.

IDC pointed to a handful of bright spots propping up the semiconductor market, including smartphones and tablets, but also set-top boxes and automotive electronics.

"We expect lower, but positive global GDP growth in 2013. Semiconductors for smartphones will see healthy revenue growth as appetite for data, multimedia processing, and multitasking will drive high-end smartphone demand in developed countries while an ongoing transition to 3G networks will accelerate smartphone adoption in developing regions. PC demand will continue to remain in a period of transition next year until more technology and design innovation begin to change the course of demand," said Mali Venkatesan , research manager for Semiconductors at IDC.

For all of the talk about the post-PC era , the segment continues to grow, albeit at a slow pace. Semiconductor revenues for the computing industry segment will log year-over-year growth of 1.7 percent for 2013, IDC said.

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