Hi-tech gurus hold optimistic views on 2006 chip business
Dec 19, 2005
Many chief executives from Taiwanese and foreign hi-tech enterprises forecast world semiconductor business to grow 5% to 10% in 2006 at a conference held in Taiwan to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the island's Hsinchu Science Park.
Chairman M.J. Tsai of MediaTek Inc. estimated chips for mobile phones and digital televisions to post the most potential growth over the next three to five years. His company is Taiwan's biggest fabless house.
Tsai pointed out that consumer electronics and wireless products would replace personal computers (PCs) as the major momentum to drive up world chip market over the next three to five years. He went on that world PC market has entered post-PC era and the world market has grown 10% at most annually.
Tsai felt that the 5%-10% increases forecast by many market research organizations for next year's chip market should be close to reality.
Photomask-equipment supplier ASML's president and chief executive officer (CEO), Eric Meurice, forecast that capital spending on equipment at chipmakers would increase next year since 90-nm process has emerged as mainstream chip-making process technology. He estimated the spending increases would be particularly apparent at suppliers of flash-memory chips and chips for wireless equipment, whose sales are expected to be thriving next year.
MEMC Electronics Materials Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nabeel Gareeb pointed out that world semiconductor-materials market would likely increase 10% to 15% next year as a whole, with 200-mm and 300-mm wafer material markets expected to maintain the 40% and 20% pace, respectively. He noted that tight supplies of poly-silicon materials would be relieved in two years and prices of 200-mm wafer materials would still have a chance to rise.
Elpida Memory CEO and President Yukio Sakamoto projected world dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market to rise 10% next year from this year as a result of increasing consumptions of personal computers worldwide. He analyzed that DRAM chipmakers would be forced out of competition if they could not afford the costly expenditures on 90-nm process tools, which have become mainstream process technology at world leading DRAM makers.
Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA) Chairman Frank Huang pointed out that the upturn trend of the world semiconductor industry for next year has taken hold and 5%-10% increase estimates were reasonable. He suggested Taiwanese chipmakers should create a new phase for the industry by intensifying cooperation and interflows among them.
source & copyright: CENS