Global chip sales could rise by more than a fifth this year, bringing them back above pre-recession levels, industry watcher iSuppli said on Friday.
Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Nvidia Corp, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Altera Corp, and others are expected to pull in combined revenue of $279.7 billion, iSuppli said, outlining both dramatic growth for the companies and the depth to which the economic downturn hit them over the last three years.
Enthusiasm over the semiconductor industry's 2010 outlook has hit a fever pitch, said Dale Ford, iSuppli's senior vice president of market intelligence services. In reality, 2010 is likely to simply be a year when semiconductor industry growth on a sequential quarterly basis returns to a more normal pattern.
Global chip revenues in 2010 are projected to grow 21.5 percent over 2009, to a level 2.3 percent above 2007 sales.
Despite recent growth in demand, iSuppli warned that supply bottlenecks indicate the industry does not have enough equipment-producing chips, a problem that is not reflected in the manufacturers' capital spending plans.
Planned spending by chipmakers for 2010 is at levels less than half of what it was in pre-recession years, iSuppli said. Furthermore, it said that spending is focused more on advanced manufacturing processes than on growing production capacity.
(Reporting by Ian Sherr, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)