VLSIresearch downgrades its semiconductor forecast to -1%
Industry analysts have been lowering 2015 forecasts for the last several months, most recently to just slightly positive. Yet, no one has gone to the dark side, until on August 28, when VLSIresearch became the first to issue a negative forecast. They lowered their forecast of semiconductor sales in 2015 from +3.6% to -1%. VLSI was one of the first to issue reports of worsening conditions, back in January.Then on February 25th, it lowered the semiconductor market’s status to “Upturn under pressure.” However their weekly sales data continued to show healthy sales growth until early in the second quarter, when IC sales began to come in under 2014.
It was a worsening supply/demand imbalance that worried them most. DRAM was the first to hit glut conditions this year, then foundry and most recently they downgraded NAND flash from Balanced to Loose. The change in foundry market conditions has been notable. Last year there was a global shortage of foundry wafer supply. It began to loosen up early this year, as more capacity was added to existing fab floorspace. VLSIresearch’s IC Supply Status Monitor showed a foundry wafer supply shift from ‘Shortage’ to ‘Balanced’ the week ending 6/19. It worsened to ‘Loose’ the following week (6/26).This was again lowered to ‘Saturated’ the week of 7/10 and then to ‘Glut’ the week of 7/17.
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