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IC unit shipments reach record high
9 June 2010, News

Data collected by IC Insights reveals that the first quarter of 2010 registered the highest level of IC shipments on record at 44,5 billion units – surpassing the previous high of 44,1 billion units in the third quarter of 2008 and 59% higher than the 28 billion units shipped in last year’s first quarter.

Strong PC and cellphone demand, an upturn in automotive shipments, and an overall rebound in consumer spending for electronics, are the driving forces behind the strong 1Q10 IC unit volume demand. Moreover, seasonal strength is forecast to help the IC industry set new quarterly records for IC unit volume shipments in the second half of 2010.

From 2000 through 2004, IC unit shipment growth averaged 9,5%, which was followed by an accelerated 14% pace from 2005 through 2007. In late 2008, underlying demand for ICs plummeted as the global recession gained momentum in the second half of the year. Since 4Q08, the two worst sequential quarterly IC unit growth rates (4Q08 and 1Q09) were immediately followed by the two best sequential quarterly growth rates (2Q09 and 3Q09), forming a sharp V-shaped recovery for IC unit shipments. Shipments then started back on a new 9,5% trend line beginning in 3Q09. IC Insights believes that IC unit shipment growth will average at least 9,5% over the next five years.

The accompanying table shows the 10 best and 10 worst years for IC unit volume growth since 1980. As shown, 2009 ranked as the third worst IC unit volume growth year, behind only 2001 and 1985. In contrast, IC unit volume shipments are forecast to increase by 24% this year, which would rank 2010 as the third best unit volume growth year in the past 30 years. Moreover, IC Insights believes there is a good chance that 2010 IC unit volume growth could top 2000’s 27% figure, ranking it as the second highest IC unit growth rate year since 1980.

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