IHS Markit remains bullish on 2017 chip market

November 30, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Strong memory pricing and demand for wireless products has persuaded IHS Markit to forecast global chip sales for 2017 to be $428.9 billion, up 21 percent on 2016.

This is higher than recent estimates from the WSTS organization and Gartner.

The chip market achieved 12 percent sequential growth in the third quarter, according to IHS Markit, a quarter in which Samsung took first place above Intel in the chip vendor ranking. Global revenue in 3Q17 was $113.9 billion, up from $101.7 billion in the second quarter of 2017.

Chips for wireless communications was the strongest growth sector in 3Q17 and reached $34.8 billion and representing 31 percent of the total market. IHS Markit anticipates an even bigger fourth quarter for wireless applications, projecting $37.5 billion in revenue – and more than $131 billion for the full-year.

IHS Markit put the strength in wireless communications down to greater complexity in smartphones and support for high-end LTE mobile broadband.

"The DRAM industry had another record quarter with $19.8 billion in revenue, exceeding the prior record by more than $3 billion," said Mike Howard, director for DRAM memory and storage research at IHS Markit, in a statement "Prices and shipments were up during the quarter as strong demand for mobile and server DRAM continued to propel the market."

NAND flash memory also had a record quarter with revenue reaching $14.2 billion although with some signs of softening. "Pricing was flat in the quarter, as seasonally strong demand driven by the mobile and solid-state drive segments was able to offset moderate shipment growth," said Walter Coon, director for NAND flash technology research at IHS Markit. "The market is expected to soften exiting 2017 and into early next year, as the industry transition to 3D NAND technology continues to progress and the market enters a traditionally slower demand period."

Market share movement within the top 10 suppliers put Qualcomm above Broadcom to secure the number-five spot, while nVidia made its way into the top 10 ranking for the first time.

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