2018 to be a $500 billion chip market, says Penn

January 17, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
Malcolm Penn, the outspoken CEO of Future Horizons Ltd., has said there is little that can stop 2018 being a second boom year for the global chip market and would likely be close to $500 billion in value.

In a seminar held in London Penn expressed exasperation at other market forecasters who are saying the global chip market will return to single-digit growth despite the underlying circumstances of strong growth and rising average selling prices due to managed undersupply of manufacturing capacity.

Penn said that 2018 would see global chip sales would likely hit $500 billion and year-on-year growth of 21 percent. He expressed his optimism as a range from $477 million and growth of 15.6 percent on the bearish side to $510 million and growth of 23.5 percent on the bullish end of the spectrum.

In contrast, market forecasters such as IC Insights and Gartner are providing growth forecasts for 2018 of 8 percent and 7.5 percent respectively, and the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization's estimate for 2018 given in November 2017 was 7.0 percent.

Penn said that barring an economic collapse: "This recovery has nowhere-near run its course." He said he despaired of market analysts who somehow felt inhibited from saying what they believed and instead repeated a consensus of what others said.

When challenged that 2017's boom was due largely to strong memory growth based on high average selling prices and that this could turn quickly, Penn said that was true but that memory was a "trigger event" and that demand was strong across the board and that ASPs are rising across all IC types. He also said that the industry is marked by long lead times on many types of component if not by allocations.

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