That about sums up the outlook for global chipmakers this year and the next, according to Gartner, which yesterday raised its industry revenue forecast for 2009. The US-based research company said at a conference in Taipei that worldwide semiconductor revenues would likely fall 17 per cent this year, less than their previous prediction of a 22.4 per cent drop.

Bryan Lewis, vice president of research, said this was due to a “consumer spending spree” on PCs and mobile phones, driven by falling prices and the effects of stimulus packages by governments around the world. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The semiconductor industry appears to be recovering rapidly from the recession, according to the latest industry figures.

Sales in July were down 18.2 per cent on the same month last year, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

However, that compares to an average monthly fall of 25 per cent in the first six months of the year. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Advanced Micro Devices,  Intel’s smaller microprocessor rival, is backing up chip industry earnings reports of a recovery in the second quarter and a seasonally stronger second half to come.

Like Intel, AMD saw strong sales of its mobile chips and growth in Asia.  But it reported sales were flat in the US and gross margins suffered as it tried to clear out older 65-nanometre chips and its factories remained underutilised.  It is still short of its break-even target and the Q2 loss of $330m sent shares down 13 per cent in extended trading.

Chris Nuttall

Moore’s Law has been proven for more than 40 years as the chip industry has gone on making smaller chips at lower costs. Their improved performance has driven consumer demand, which has funded the big investments needed in new equipment for volume production.

Our Silicon Showdown series today looks at the current debate about the economic rather than scientific limits of Moore’s Law. But there is an addendum about the economics if the industry actually moves up a size. Read more

Jerry Maguire, the fictional sports agent played by Tom Cruise, summed up well the spirit of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s new Open Innovation Platform initiative.

“Help me . . . help you,” Mr Maguire implored his one remaining client in the 1996 film.

Morris Chang, founder and recently chief executive again of the world’s biggest contract chip maker, has a far larger network of customers than Mr Maguire but found himself preaching the same message this week when he addressed clients at TSMC’s annual technology symposium.

“We don’t want to play a zero-sum game with our clients”, the 77 year-old Mr Chang told them. Read more