While economic conditions remain uncertain for Europe and the US, Asia continues to forge ahead. Evidence of strong demand and sustainable growth in the region includes: recent positive data from Japan's improving GDP (now at 8.24% for 2010, according to DGBAS); favorable currency conditions; improving book-to-bill ratios (up to 1.53 for July) for equipment manufacturers (from SEAJ); and all of Asia's (especially Emerging Asia's) consumer demand continuing to hold strong (e.g., this McKinsey report on Vietnam's consumer growth).
Design houses, fabs and manufacturing hubs in the Asia-Pacific/Japan region (APACJ) are supporting localization trends. More specifically, with local orders, particularly from China and Japan for high volume presently (and emerging Asian economies to follow; cf. this recent MarketWatch Quarterly article), coupled with continued demand globally, IC design and manufacturing forecasts continue to improve (cf. this iSuppli report), particularly for leaders such as TSMC, UMC, and Renesas (cf. DigiTimes 8/19/10 and EletroIQ here).
The recent CAPEX investments of IC manufacturers will provide some support for the demand and further underscore the growth situation putting pressure on the IC design industry. According to the ElectroIQ report, production value of IC manufacturing sector is up 15.4% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), and "production value of the IC packaging segment gained 13.3 percent" for the same period. Similarly, IC testing is up 14% and IC design up 7.7%.