Following last month’s reports about the graphics card market shrinking by 42.7 per cent
, it looks as though everyone else in the silicon industry has also had a rough time over the last few months. The Semiconductor Industry Association
(SIA) has just released its latest figures for the worldwide sales of semiconductors in February 2009, revealing a drop of 30.4 percent compared to the same period last year.
The total sales of semiconductors for February 2009 accounted for $14.17 billion US in February 2009, compared with $20.35 billion US in February 2008. The worst-hit area was Europe, in which sales of semiconductors declined by 36.1 percent compared with February 2008, while sales in the US went down by 24.9 percent.
The SIA’s president, George Scalise, said that “the global semiconductor industry is going through one of the steepest corrections in its history.”
However, he cautiously added that the industry may have seen the worst of it now. “While it would be premature to conclude that the sales decline has hit bottom,” said Scalise, “there are some indications that the rate of decline has moderated from the final quarter of 2008.”
Scalise also pointed out that the semiconductor industry “responded quickly to the changing market environment by curtailing production and reducing inventory as demand slowed in late 2008. The world’s two largest foundry manufacturers have recently reported slight improvements in factory utilisation rates, albeit at levels well below those of a year ago.”
The silicon chip industry is still facing a grim time ahead, though. Scalise concludes that demand for semiconductors “semiconductors is likely to continue well below 2008 levels for the next few quarters, with a gradual recovery to follow as the global economy recovers.”
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