Asian Economies, Memory Segment To Impede Semiconductor Market Recovery According To IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 16, 1998 — Sagging Asian economies and continued price volatility in the memory segment have dampened, but not extinguished, worldwide semiconductor revenue growth. International Data Corporation (IDC) expects the market to grow 8.4 percent to $148.7 billion in 1998. As memory revenue begins to rebound in 1999, the market will return to double-digit growth rates, eventually reaching $272.4 billion by 2002.

According to IDC's newly published research, Semiconductor Market Forecast and Review, 1997-2002, the memory market will shrink 9.7 percent this year to $26.5 billion. A lingering overcapacity situation will hit DRAM vendors especially hard — DRAM revenue is expected to fall 13.4 percent to $17.2 billion after a decline of 21.2 percent in 1997. Major capacity cutbacks are expected to stabilize memory pricing by the fourth quarter of 1998, and IDC believes that stable prices in combination with strong bit growth will drive memory revenue up in 1999 and beyond.

IDC's 8.4 percent growth rate forecast for 1998 is a reduction from a mid-1997 estimate of 15.1 percent. "Although the Americas regions will be the strongest region for growth this year, the economic crisis in Asia has sent waves of uncertainty across every region and has caused us to decrease our forecast for 1998," said Mario Morales, IDC's Research Director, Semiconductors. "Japan is of most concern because of current economic and political instability," added Morales. In fact, 1998 revenue growth is expected to be the weakest in Japan – -a 4.8 percent increase is forecast.

The microprocessor segment of the microcomponent product area remains a bright spot for the semiconductor market. IDC expects microprocessor revenue to expand 24.9 percent to $29.3 billion in 1998. "Despite a trend toward lower-priced processors to feed the demand for sub-$1,500 PCs, healthy unit growth for both the computing and embedded segments of the market will fuel the processor market," according to Kelly Henry, Senior Research Analyst, Semiconductors.

Regional Semiconductor Trends

The U.S. semiconductor market will reach revenues of $94.5 billion in 2002

European consumption share will remain flat throughout the forecast period

The Asia/Pacific region will surpass Japan in revenue size by 1999

This report, Semiconductor Market Forecast and Review, 1997-2002, breaks out the worldwide semiconductor market by seven major product segments (MOS memory, MOS microcomponents, MOS Logic, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, and Bipolar digital), providing five-year forecasts across four geographic regions, including Americas, Europe, Japan, and Asia Pacific.

To order a copy, contact Cheryl Toffel at 508 935-4389.

About IDC

Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., International Data Corporation provides IT market research and consulting to more than 3,900 high-technology customers around the world. With a global network of 300 analysts in more than 40 countries, IDC is the industry's most comprehensive resource on worldwide IT markets, products, vendors, and geographies.

IDC/LINK, an IDC subsidiary, researches and analyzes the home computing market, leading-edge technologies in telecommunications and new media, and the convergence of computing and consumer electronics.

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