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Gartner: Stronger 2010 chip growth, weaker in 2011

Good news for the semiconductor industry: 2010 is shaping up to be even better than expected. Bad news: that strength has already peaked, and will leave the market weaker in 2011.

Gartner analyst Bryan Lewis now projects the industry to top $300B in chip sales this year, a 31.5% surge from 2009. Gartner's June forecast pegged 27.1% growth in chip sales in 2010 to $290B, vs. ~20% growth to $276B it forecast back in February.

Essentially, the industry can't keep up with the growth pace it set in the first half of the year, according to Lewis. Europe's credit crisis has eased, but the global economic woes persist, and electronic gadget makers are increasingly cautious, "ready to cut production at the first signs of slowing customer orders," he says.


SEMI has reorged into three groups to focus on IC manufacturing, solar PV, and related markets such as MEMS and LEDs.

Samsung outselling Intel in chips? It could happen by 2014, says IC Insights, extrapolating current growth patterns in various IC categories.

SEMATECH has completed a 300mm 3D IC pilot line centered on 5×50µm through-silicon vias (TSV).

After months of rumors, Intel has agreed to buy Infineon's wireless solutions (WLS) business for ~$1.4B in cash.


IM Flash says it is sampling 64Gb 3 bits/cell NAND flash on 25nm process technologies, and plans to ramp production by year's end.

Researchers from SRC and Georgia Tech claim advancements in off-chip interconnect solutions: utilizing air dielectrics, multilayer structures, and all-copper connections.

Dai Nippon Printing has joined SEMA-TECH's EUV mask clean work in Albany, NY.


Toshiba has ramped production of 24nm NAND flash devices for 2bit/cell 64Gb chips. And the company reportedly is mulling bit-cost scalable (BiCS) technology for stacking 3D NAND flash memory in its new fab, sometime by mid-decade.

Fujitsu Semiconductor says it has developed a new LSI IC that can reduce power consumption for equipment (e.g. multifunction printers) by up to 25%.

Fuji Electric and Furukawa Electric have built a prototype GaN power semiconductor that consumes 90% less power than conventional silicon-based devices; sampling is expected in 2011.

Rexchip has completed a pilot run of Elpida's 40nm 2Gb DDR3.

Taiwan's Vanguard Semiconductor says it will more than double its 2010 capex budget to NT$3.6B vs. planned NT$1.6B.


Suss MicroTec has appointed former Carl Zeiss exec Rainer Knippelmeyer as CTO and VP of R&D, charged with creating a cross-product technology roadmap.

IBM and Infineon have sold their JV Altis Semiconductor to a group owned by French entrepreneur Yazid Sabeg, but they will continue to use its foundry and wafer test services.

The UK semiconductors market will see 7.2% CAGR through 2014, though growth will stagnate toward the end of that period, says Venn Research.

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