As both SEMI and SIA now have their recent data reports in, it is always helpful to understand where we've recently been as an industry in order to best prepare and be aware of trends we are likely to face now and in the near future. While to many the question of other market sectors and even fab and CAPEX data may seem esoteric, the fact remains that when trying to secure components today, you are not operating in isolation of all the other components, manufacturing, and even equipment trends that affect our industry.
So let's quickly summarize what the SIA and SEMI data then briefly explore why the data are important:
SIA data covering the semiconductor industry for December 2010 were relatively consistent with historical, seasonal trends as well as month-on-month (MoM) trends. According to Barclays Capital research report on US Semiconductors (1/31/11), Revenues overall were up MoM (8.4%) and year-on-year (YoY) (13.1%), thanks to better ASPs; unit shipments were up modestly MoM (1%) and YoY (2.6%) (cf. Barclays Capital ibid, p.2). Drilling down into sectors, we find the following breakdown from Barclays:
- DRAM revenues and ASPs were lower while NAND was higher (the reasoning can be distilled to demand and supply differences);
- MPU revenue was up strongly (39.8% MoM and 16.1% YoY) with units and ASPs up 11.5% and 4.1%, respectively, YoY;
- Analog revenue was up slightly (2% MoM and 10.1% YoY) and units up 11.3% while ASPs decreased -1% YoY;
- MCUs YoY revenue also up (21.3%) (but only up 3.2% MoM, in part due to -2.9% decreased unit volume MoM, but 6.3% ASP increases for the same period) additional gains were found in YoY unit volume (21.3%) and ASPs (4.9% YoY);
- DSPs also saw YoY revenue increases (9.9% and 4.1% MoM) with strong ASPs YoY (15.5%) but lagging units (-4.9%) (and 4.8% ASP to -0.7% unit volume MoM);
- Discrete revenues also up strongly (3.4% MoM and 19.1% YoY), coupled with both unit and ASP increases for the same periods (1.1% MoM and 1.5% YoY for units; 2.2% MoM and 17.4% YoY ASPs); and finally,
- Logic revenues were also up (6.5% MoM and 10.6% YoY) with units (2.1% MoM and 6.7% YoY) and ASPs (4.3% MoM and 3.7% YoY) following suit.
SEMI's global wafer shipment data (out this week here) parallel the above SIA data. Silicon wafer shipments showed strong increases (40%) for 2010 YoY, with 45% increase in revenue for the same YoY period.
What to quickly make of these data combined? The rebound really did happen in 2010 and continued health is anticipated, however, as SEMI's Chairman, Dr. Volker Braetsch, among other industry leaders and analysts caution, continued demand is expected generally for the semiconductor industry, but "at a much more modest post-recovery rate." (cf. SEMI's report here)