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Four horsemen of the Apocalypse rescue chip market

by on17 January 2018

Things are getting better

A chief analyst at freethinking semiconductor firm Future Horizons has warned that an upswing in the market has caught the industry by surprise because of the swift nature of the recovery, which it could have anticipated, but didn't.

Malcolm Penn, who heads up Future Horizons UK, said, in effect, that 2017 left the semiconductor industry worldwide gobsmacked because it hadn't really thought ahead.

According to Penn, the four “horsemen” (painting by Russian artist Viktor Vasnetov) -  are economy, unit demand, capacity and average selling prices (ASPs).

He said: “Industry capacity was caught completely unprepared for this, with production run rates and inventory levels all 'finely tuned' to the past several years of below average unit and economic growth.”

Penn added that the upswing “hit home with a vengeance” last April because a combination of unit demand and lack of capacity caused a so-called perfect storm.

He said that ASPs started to recover and now all four “horsemen” are going in the same direction. Penn has been predicting this upswing for several years, despite doom laden forecasts.

So the growth rate in 2017 was 22 percent, and he reckons that 2018 will be close to that at 21 percent. Sort of the "lamb of recovery".

Which is good news for both the industry and its myriad customers, we reckon as the semi industry realised it needed more capacity - and fast.

Last modified on 17 January 2018
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