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Semiconductor sales to grow over 10% in '14

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- On the back of steady demand from makers of PCs and smartphones, major industry research units forecast Taiwan's semiconductor industry to generate revenue totaling NT$2.09 trillion this year, an 11.1-percent growth from last year.

The Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA) and Industrial Economics & Knowledge Research Center (IEK) of the government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) recently estimated that Taiwan's IC design sector will generate revenue of NT$542.5 billion this year, rising 12.8 percent from last year

According to Sectorwide, Taiwan's IC foundry sector is expected to generate revenue of NT$853 billion in 2014, growing 12.4 percent from last year while the memory chip sector will see revenue of NT$258 billion, adding a relatively moderate 8.7 percent due to a predicted decline in DRAM prices. Local testing and packaging sectors are expected to grow at least 8 percent respectively.

TSIA and ITRI also set the annual growth rate for the global semiconductor industry at 3.6 percent this year.

The TSIA-ITRI survey showed that although the Taiwan industry's revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 sank 3.4 percent from the previous quarter, its revenue for the entire year surged 15.6 percent year-on-year, to NT$1.8 trillion in 2013, compared with the 4.8-percent increase for the global semiconductor industry.

Throughout last year, Taiwan's memory chip sector posted revenue growth of 31.2 percent year-on-year, to NT$237.3 billion, becoming the highest-growth segment of the island's semiconductor industry.

Global Semiconductor Revenue Shows 5-percent Growth for 2013

Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 5 percent to US$315 billion in 2013, driven by the memory industry, particularly the DRAM business, the Central News Agency cited global research firm Gartner Inc. as reporting.

“After a weak start to 2013 due to excess inventory, revenue growth strengthened during the second and third quarters before leveling off during the fourth quarter,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner, in a research note.

Although the overall revenue was driven by the DRAM industry, which rose 23.5 percent last year, the increase was not due to strong demand but rather weak supply growth that pushed pricing higher, Norwood said.

“The overall market faced a number of demand headwinds during the year, with PC production declining 9.9 percent and the premium smartphone market showing signs of saturation as growth tilted toward lower-priced, albeit quite capable, entry-level and mid-range smartphone models,” he added.

The combined revenues of the top 25 semiconductor vendors increased 6.9 percent in 2013, much better than the 0.9-percent growth from the rest of the market, showing the high concentration of memory vendors in the top ranking, the report said.

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