Semi market stutters all the way through this year

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Semi market stutters all the way through this year

While there is some evidence that things are better in the semiconductor market last quarter than they were before, it’s unlikely that things will really take off until this time next year.

That’s the view, anyway of Malcolm Penn, the CEO of boutique market research firm Future Horizons.  He thinks that the limited growth we saw in the last quarter is largely down to readjustment of inventory but there are brighter times in store.

Penn said in an interview yesterday that the world of electronics doesn’t stand still. Companies that make products and that use the chips the semiconductor industry makes have to refresh their product ranges and inevitably that means that order books will fill.

But, he thinks, although the semiconductor market will start to show again the kind of seasonal patterns it’s famous for, it’s unlikely that things will really begin to buzz until this time of year.

Penn has an interesting view about the semi industry which he thinks is lacking the kind of leadership it did in the past. He thinks that now it’s largely run by accountants who lack any kind of vision or enterprise.

He said that at the last semiconductor seminar he held for his clients in London, he tried an interesting  experiment and asked those present to name the CEOs of the top 20 semiconductor companies.  Everyone went blank. The reason for that, he thinks, is that there aren’t that many visionaries left in the industry. He asked me that question too, and to my shame I could only come up with a handful of the 20. Here are iSuppli’s figures for the top 20 semiconductor companies in 2008, excluding foundry players like TSMC.

1Intel CorporationPaul Otellini
2Samsung ElectronicsKim-Hee Lee
3Toshiba SemiconductorsShozo Saito
4Texas InstrumentsRichard Templeton
5ST MicroelectronicsCarlo Bozotti
6Renesas TechnologyKatsuhiro Tsukamoto
7SonyHoward Stringer
8QualcommPaul Jacobs
9HynixKim Jong-cap
10Infineon TechnologiesPeter Bauer
11NEC SemiconductorsKaoro Yano
12Advanced Micro DevicesDirk Meyer
13Freescale SemiconductorRich Beyer
14BroadcomScott McGregor
15Panasonic CorporationFumio Ohtsubo
16Micron TechnologySteve Appleton
17NXPRick Clemmer
18Sharp ElectronicsDaisuke Koshina
19ElpidaYukio Sakamoto
20RohmKen Sato

Future Semiconductors next International Electronics Forum will be held in Geneva starting on the 30th of September.