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Global semicon sales to grow 6.6 percent in 2013: Cowan LRA model


This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

According to the WSTS’s Jan 2013 HBR (posted on March 8th, 2013), January 2013’s actual global semiconductor sales came in at $22.824 billion. This actual sales result for January is 2.9 percent higher than January’s sales forecast estimate, namely $22.180 billion.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Plugging January’s actual sales number into the Cowan LRA forecasting model yields, the following quarterly, half-year, and full year sales and sales growth forecast expectations for 2013 compared to 2012 sales depicted in the table.

It should be highlighted that with last month’s publishing of the final 2012 sales result by the WSTS, the Cowan LRA Model for forecasting global semiconductor sales was updated to incorporate the full complement of 2012′s monthly sales numbers, thereby capturing 29 years of historical, global semiconductor (actual) sales numbers as gathered, tracked and published each month by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) on its website.

As described last month, the necessary mathematical computations required in order to update the complete set of linear regression parameters embedded in the Cowan LRA forecasting model for determining future sales were carried out. The newly derived set of linear regression parameters therefore reflect 29 years (1984 to 2012) of historical global semiconductor sales as the basis for predicting future quarterly and full year sales and sale growth forecast expectations by running the Cowan LRA Model.

Therefore, the table given above summarizes the model’s latest, updated 2013 sales and sales growth expectations reflecting the WSTS’s January 2013′s actual sales as calculated by the model’s newly minted set of linear regression parameters.

Note that the latest Cowan LRA Model’s expected 2013 sales growth of 6.6 percent relative to 2012 final sales ($291.562 billion) is more bullish than the WSTS’s adjusted Autumn 2012 sales growth forecast of 3.9 percent as well as the WSTS’s Autumn 2012′s original forecasted sales growth of 4.5 percent which was released back in November of last year.

In addition to forecasting 2013’s quarterly sales estimates the Cowan LRA Model also provides an forecast expectation for February 2013’s sales, namely $22.436 billion. This sales forecast yields a 3MMA forecast for February of $23.571 billion assuming the no or minimal sales revision is made to January’s actual sales.

Finally, the table provided below details the monthly evolution for 2013’s sales and sales growth forecast predictions as put forth by the Cowan LRA forecasting model dating back to September of last year.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Note that the most recent 2013 sales growth forecast is up compared to the previous two forecasts of 5.5 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

It should be mentioned that the previous 2013’s sales growth forecast for Dec 2012, namely 3.6 percent, was based upon a sales forecast estimate for Jan 2013 versus the latest sales growth forecast estimate of 6.6 percent, which utilizes Jan’s actual sales result just released in the WSTS’s January 2013 HBR, Historical Billings Report.

Global semicon sales to reach $302.02 billion in 2013: Cowan LRA model

February 18, 2013 5 comments

This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

With the ‘closing out’ of the final, overall sales result for 2012 by the WSTS, the Cowan LRA model for forecasting global semiconductor sales has been updated to include the full complement of 2012′s monthly sales numbers, thereby incorporating 29 years of historical, global semiconductor (actual) sales numbers as gathered, tracked and published each month by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.

The necessary mathematical computations required to update the complete set of linear regression parameters embedded in the Cowan LRA forecasting model have been carried out.

The newly derived set of linear regression parameters reflect 29 years (1984 to 2012) of historical global semiconductor sales numbers as a basis of predicting future quarterly and full year sales and sale growth forecast expectations by exercising the Cowan LRA model.

Therefore, the table given here summarizes the model’s latest 2013 sales and sales growth expectations as a function of the model’s range (low, expected and high) for January 2013′s sales forecast estimates as generated by the newly, updated model’s linear regression parameters.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

It is estimated that in 2013, the global semiconductor industry is likely to reach $302.022 billion, a growth of 3.6 percent.

Note that next month’s forecast will be based on January 2013′s actual sales number, which is anticipated to be released by the WSTS at the end of the first week in March. Once posted, the model will be rerun to yield the quarterly and full year sales, and sales growth expectations for 2013, respectively.

Round-up 2012: Best of electronics, semiconductors and solar

December 31, 2012 2 comments

Friends, here is the round-up of 2012, where the best of electronics, semiconductors and solar PV are presented. Best wishes for a very happy and prosperous new year! :)

Also, a word on the horrendous Delhi rape that has shaken up India. I am ashamed to be a man and a part of India’s society. My family and I are extremely sorry that the brave girl is no more! May her soul rest in peace. May God deliver justice, and quickly!

DECEMBER 2012
Opportunities in turbulent PV equipment market

Global semiconductor industry outlook 2013: Jaswinder Ahuja, Cadence

Next wave of design challenges, and future growth of EDA: Dr. Wally Rhines

Global medical image sensors market to grow 64 percent by 2017

Status of power semiconductor devices industry

NOVEMBER 2012
Global solar PV industry to remain under pressure in 2013!

Dr. Wally Rhines on global semiconductor industry outlook 2013

Focus on monolithic 3D-ICs paradigm shift for semicon industry

Xilinx announces 20nm portfolio strategy

Elliptic intros world’s first commercial touchless gesturing technology!

Global semiconductor industry outlook 2013: Analog Devices

IMEC’s 450mm R&D initiative for nanoelectronics ecosystem

OCTOBER 2012
III-V high mobility semiconductors for advanced CMOS apps

Yet another electronics policy for India?

IEF 2012: Turning recession into opportunity!

Global semicon sales to drop 1.7 percent in 2012?

Virtual prototyping ready for masses

MEMS to be $21 billion market by 2017: Yole

TSMC on 450mm transition: Lithography key!

SEPTEMBER 2012
Cadence Allegro 16.6 accelerates timing closure

Dr. Wally Rhines on global EDA industry

Solarcon India 2012: Solar industry in third wave!

AUGUST 2012
Apple wins big vs. Samsung in patent war!

Can being fabless and M-SIPS take India to top?

JULY 2012
Is Europe ready for 450mm fabs?

APRIL 2012
Xilinx intros Vivado Design Suite

MARCH 2012
Cadence releases latest Encounter RTL-to-GDSII flow

WLCSP market and industrial trends

FEBRUARY 2012
Top 10 semiconductor growth drivers: Intersil

Ingredients for successful fabless Indian semiconductor industry: Dr. Wally Rhines

Tariffs will slow growth in domestic demand for PV systems: The Brattle Group

Wireless leads in global semicon spends!

JANUARY 2012
India to allow imports of low-priced Chinese solar cells? Or, is it beaten?

Is Europe ready for 450mm fabs?


Friends, it has been extremely difficult for me to stay away from my blog! ;) Not to speak of the thousands of requests! ;)

Malcolm Penn

Malcolm Penn

Well, I’ve been chatting up with Malcolm Penn, chairman and CEO, Future Horizons, lately, on the 450mm fab! In fact, at the  IFS2012-MT mid-term semiconductor industry forecast seminar, he proclaimed that 450mm presented a unique opportunity for Europe!

First, 450mm will allow Europe’s indigenous chip firms to catch up their lost leadership position in advanced CMOS manufacturing, and place them at the forefront of technology in ‘More Moore’ (MM) and ‘More Than Moore’ (MtM). Embracing 450mm will ensure a clear migration path for all future silicon-based chip processing into the foreseeable future. Should Europe’s indigenous chip firms choose to ignore the 450mm paradigm shift, focusing instead on just MtM, and not MM, they will end up in a technology dead end!

Europe’s MtM expertise will get slowly cannibalised by more advanced technology-based firms looking to re-use their depreciated (n-1) MM platforms and shrinking remaining markets squeezed by ever-increasing over-crowding amongst their similar technology peers. Embracing MtM without MM will undermine Europe’s long-term KET aspirations and advanced manufacturing needs by 2025. By the way, a 450mm fab is already in TSMC’s roadmap!

The chip industry’s growth is driven by the economy, which is currently weak due to complete loss of confidence, as well as unit demand, fab capacity, which is very tight at the leading technology edge, and ASPs.

At IFS2012 in January, Future Horizons had said that +8 per cent is a safe bet for the global semiconductor industry. The updated outlook for 2012, from Future Horizons, for the global semiconductor industry is +4 per cent! As we all know, the chip fundamentals wait for no man or crisis! The year 2012 has been one of the unresolved Euro crisis. The chip market will likely rebound once business confidence returns!

As SEMI puts it: the key to the implementation of 450mm wafer production will be the ability of key subsystem and component suppliers to support leading tool makers with critical enabling products and technologies vital to 450 pilot lines and high volume production. The role of the  the Global 450 Consortium (G450C) will be watched and followed with great interest.

The key question: Should Europe make a move for 450mm fabs?  What happens to the existing 300mm fabs? Do let me know your thoughts, friends!

P.S.: By the way, what is the Indian semiconductor industry doing?

Latest Cowan LRA model’s forecast for global semicon sales in 2012

February 8, 2012 1 comment

This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

The latest Cowan LRA model parameter update incorporates 2011′s monthly sales results, thereby incorporating 28 years of historical, global actual monthly semiconductor sales as gathered, tracked and published by the WSTS.

Cowan has carried out the necessary mathematical computations in order to update the complete set of linear regression parameters embedded in the Cowan LRA forecast model. This update to the model’s parameters thus reflects 28 years (1984 to 2011) of historical global semiconductor sales numbers.

Therefore, the table given here has provided summarizes the latest model’s 2012 sales and sales growth expectations as a function of the model’s range (low, expected and high) for January 2012′s sales forecast estimates as put out by the updated model.

Note that the Cowan LRA Model’s expected 2012 sales growth (of 3.3 percent) relative to 2011 sales is slightly less bullish than the WSTS’s adjusted autumn 2011 sales growth forecast of 3.6 percent versus WSTS’s autumn 2011′s forecasted sales growth of 2.6 percent.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Trends to watch @ CES!


CES 2012 is just around the corner! Let us look at some trends.

First, according to Ovum,  the ultrabook is shaping up to be a CES 2012 show stopper. It is expected that 20-40 devices will be introduced. There will be more of mobile connecrted devices, which are likely to be more app friendly, have brighter screens and offer intuitive user interfaces. TV manufacturers are expected to  demonstrate capabilities of “smart” TVs.

According to Accenture, another big story is likely to be the TV market. The market is challenged by the fact that consumers are planning to buy fewer TVs next year, according to Accenture’s new survey of 10,000 consumers in 10 countries.

Consumers are also watching TV on TV screens less often, and say they are especially disinclined to buy TV sets until prices decline. The battle is on for consumers eyeballs and attention among the multitude of screens such as desktop and laptop PCs, smartphones and tablets. There will be a push to find more innovative ways to make TV content on TV screens more compelling involving cloud and online services.

Accenture also believes ultrabooks will be a big story at CES 2012. This is a promising product category because these are highly powerful yet thin and portable computers. Tablets and smartphone markets are continuing to grow, but the ultrabook market poses a threat to both.

Among the biggies, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd launched the Samsung AdHub advertising platform for Samsung Smart TV platform. Through the newly-announced AdHub service, brands can deliver 3D, video and interactive advertisements into the living room via Samsung’s market-leading Smart TVs. China’s Haier will display connected televisions as well as key new design features and introduce the expanded line of audio solutions.

Elsewhere, dbx-tv announced Total Cal, an audio measurement and calibration tool that custom-optimizes sound quality from TVs, regardless of speaker size or price point.

VoiceBox Technologies Inc. has entered into a strategic agreement with Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA, Inc. to develop innovative in-car voice products and capabilities. Quantenna Communications will showcase 802.11n MIMO technology optimized for service providers and 802.11ac chipset for retail applications. Alereon Inc. is demonstrating high-speed wireless connectivity from Android-based smartphones and tablets to integrated wireless monitors/docks as well as HDTVs.

The Mobile500 Alliance has unveiled a breakthrough end-to-end solution that will enable its member broadcasters to build new revenue streams through Mobile DTV (MDTV). The goal is to make the solution available to Alliance member companies after beta launch and evaluation in Seattle, USA.

Two Bosch Group companies, Bosch Sensortec and Akustica, will be jointly showcasing their consumer MEMS products. While, Qualcomm Innovation Center Inc. (QuIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, is expected to launch the Snapdragon GameCommand application to the Android market on January 10, 2012, the opening day of the CES.

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) hosts an OMAP4470 processor-based tablet running on a pre-release version of Windows 8 at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, demonstrating how the latest OMAP 4 platform distinctly supports Microsoft’s new computing experience, Windows 8, that reimagines Windows. And, Sensible Vision, the leading supplier of face authentication software, will demonstrate its face recognition app for iOS and Android mobile devices at the CES 2012 Wall of Apps. FastAccess Anywhere securely replaces passwords with a face to quickly and conveniently log in to apps and web sites on mobile devices.

Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC), will be demonstrating the latest additions to its lineup of flash memory offerings – the TransMemory-EX series of USB flash memory products. The new drives are compliant with the new USB 3.0 standards – known as Super Speed USB. Initial storage capacities include a 32GB model and a 64GB model.

Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc. and The Shanghai Nutshell Electronic Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Shanda Networking Co. Ltd, China’s largest interactive digital content provider, announced the first e-reader featuring mirasol display technology, the Bambook Sunflower, to be commercially available in China in the coming weeks.

The latest figures from GfK Digital World, in partnership with Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), reveal global spending on consumer technology devices will surpass $1 trillion in 2012 for the first time, increasing by 5 percent over 2011’s figure of $993 billion.

These are just a few of the multiple trends one can expect at this year’s CES!

2012′s semicon sales and sales growth estimates $325.5 billion and 6.9 percent!

December 20, 2011 2 comments

This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

We are into the back end of 2011 with just two more months of global semiconductor sales numbers yet to be announced (by WSTS) in order to “wrap up” and finalize year 2011′s official, overall semi sales result and the corresponding final sales growth compared to last year “cast in concrete.”

Various industry watchers’ sales growth forecast expectations for 2011 are presently ranging from low positive single digits to low negative single digits, including the latest Cowan LRA Model’s sales growth forecast estimate of 2.1 percent based upon WSTS’s October 2011 sales results published at the beginning of December.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Therefore, the soon to be released — expected on or about Jan. 5th, 2012 — Nov. 2011 sales number, in conjunction with exercising the Cowan LRA Model’s “look ahead” analysis capability, can definitely shed more insight into the 2011′s final expected sales and sales growth forecast estimates, as well as the updated 2012 forecast numbers.

Consequently, the “look ahead” scenario analysis summary table shown here  nets out the “look-ahead” analysis derived high-level forecast expectations.

Analysis of global semicon industry
It’s that time of the month again; namely, time for a “preview” of next month’s global semiconductor sales forecast updates for both 2011 and 2012 as gleamed by exercising the “look ahead” forecasting capability of the Cowan LRA forecast model “operating on” November’s ‘actual’ sales expectation range.

The soon to-be-announced November 2011 global semiconductor sales result should be relevant in determining the forecasted sales growth expectation for the full year of 2011. In particular, one can ascertain whether 2011 will exhibit positive yearly sales growth for the industry or will it turn negative as a number of market researchers have recently forecasted based upon downward fourth quarter sales guidance updates recently announced by many semiconductor suppliers. Read more…

Updated global semicon sales forecast 2011′s estimate falls $2.74 billion


This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2nd, 2011, the WSTS posted its Sept. 2011′s HBR (Historical Billings Report) on its website thereby facilitating the calculation of the monthly update for the latest global semi sales forecast estimates for 2011 and 2012 via exercising the Cowan LRA forecasting model.

These latest forecast results reflect September 2011′s actual monthly sales and include revisions to previous months’ reported sales numbers. According to the WSTS’s September HBR, September’s actual global semiconductor sales came in at $29.442 billion with a corresponding September 3MMA sales of $25.764 billion.

It should be highlighted that two of the previous eight months (January through August), namely July and August, experienced very minor sales revisions from last month’s published HBR. Thus, the YTD cumulative global semiconductor sales through September totaled $227.852 billion.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

This represents a 2011 YTD sales growth of 2.2 percent compared to the same time period in 2010 when September 2010′s YTD sales were $222.853 billion. This continues a downward trend in the month-to-month 2011 YTD sales growth numbers from the beginning of the year as shown in the table here.

The Cowan LRA model’s sales forecast estimates for the month of September as determined by last month’s model run were $31.528 billion (actual) and $26.413 billion (3MMA), respectively. Consequently, the model’s September sales MI (Momentum Indicator) came in at minus 6.2 percent which marginally improved from last month’s sales MI of minus 7.5 percent.

This indicates (mathematically speaking) that semicon industry’s Sept.’s actual sales came in $1.959 billion lower than the model’s previous month’s forecasted expectation. This suggests 2011′s sales growth could continue to trend downward for remainder of this year relative to this month’s 2011 sales growth expectation of 3 percent as discussed below. Read more…

Global semiconductor sales forecast estimates fall: Cowan LRA model

October 9, 2011 1 comment

This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

The WSTS posted August 2011′s HBR (Historical Billings Report) on its website on Monday, October 4th, 2011, thereby allowing the calculation of the monthly update of the latest global semiconductor sales forecast estimates for 2011 and 2012 via exercising the Cowan LRA forecasting model reflecting August 2011′s monthly sales including any revisions to previous months’ reported sales numbers. According to the WSTS’s August HBR, August’s actual global semiconductor sales came in at $24.216 billion with a corresponding August 3MMA sales of $25.033 billion.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

It should be highlighted that none of the previous seven months (January through July) experienced any sales revisions from last month’s published HBR. Thus, the total YTD cumulative sales through August totaled $198.271 billion.

This represents a 2011 YTD sales growth of 2.2 percent compared to the same time period in 2010 when August 2010′s YTD sales were $193.976 billion. This continues a downward trend in the month-to-month 2011 YTD sales growth numbers since the beginning of the year as shown in the table here.

The Cowan LRA model’s sales forecast estimates for the month of August as determined by last month’s model run were $26.177 billion (actual) and $25.686 billion (3MMA), respectively. Consequently, the model’s August MI (Momentum Indicator) came in at minus 7.5 percent, which “degraded” from last month’s MI of minus 3.7 percent.

Source: Cowan LRA model.

Source: Cowan LRA model.

This indicates (mathematically speaking) that the semiconductor industry’s August actual sales came in much lower than the model’s previous month’s forecasted expectation by $1.961 billion. This implies that 2011′s sales growth could continue to trend downward for the rest of this year relative to this month’s sales growth expectation of 3.9 percent as discussed here.

The key take-aways from comparing the latest forecast estimates vs. the previous month’s projections (as displayed in the table) are highlighted here:

* 2011′s updated global semiconductor sales forecast estimate fell by $3.219 billion to $309.998 billion (from last month’s sales forecast estimate of $313.217).
* Correspondingly, 2011′s sales growth forecast estimate dropped by 1.1 percentage points to 3.9 percent (from last month’s 5.0 percent sales growth forecast estimate).
* September 2011′s actual sales forecast expectation is $31.528 billion, which corresponds to a September 3MMA sales estimate of $26.413 billion assuming no (or very minor) sales revisions to either July or August’s published actual sales compared to August’s just published HBR by the WSTS.
* 2012′s global semicon sales forecast estimate fell by $3.817 billion to $335.627 billion (from last month’s sales forecast estimate of $339.443 billion).
* Correspondingly, 2012′s sales growth forecast estimate dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 8.3 percent (from last month’s 8.4 percent sales growth forecast estimate).

Next month’s Cowan LRA model’s forecast update, which will reflect September 2011′s actual global semiconductor sales, is expected to be available on or about Tuesday, Nov. 8th, 2011 following the posting of the Sept. HBR on the WSTS’s website.

2011 global semicon sales growth likely to trend downward for rest of year?


This is a continuation of my coverage of the fortunes of the global semiconductor industry. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Cowan, an independent semiconductor analyst and developer of the Cowan LRA model, who has provided me the latest numbers.

According to the WSTS’s HBR, June’s actual sales came in at $27.110 billion with the corresponding June 3MMA sales at $24.677 billion. It should be mentioned that the previous five months (January through May, respectively), experienced very slight upward sales revisions from last month’s published HBR, as highlighted in the table below:

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

The Cowan LRA model’s sales forecast estimates for June as determined (and shared) last month were $29.435 billion (actual) and $25.445 billion (3MMA), respectively. Thus, the model’s June MI (Momentum Indicator) came in at minus 7.9 percent. This indicates (mathematically speaking) that the semiconductor industry’s June actual sales was much lower than the model’s forecasted expectation by $2.325 billion and that, most probably, 2011′s sales growth will continue to trend downward for the rest of this year.

Plugging the latest actual June sales into the forecasting model yields the following updated sales and sales growth forecast estimates for 2011 and the first two quarters of 2012:

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

Source: Cowan LRA model, USA.

The key take-aways from comparing the latest versus previous month’s forecast results (from the above two tables) are highlighted here: Read more…

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