TrendForce today said that it expects foundry revenues to grow 30% year-over-year for the first quarter of 2020. That increase might be short-lived, however, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to reduce demand throughout the rest of the year.
The research firm said that Q1 2020's growth resulted from "the comparatively lower" base period in Q1 2019, meaning hings look good this year because they were so bad last year.
It also said this first-quarter increase was "meant to demonstrate an overall optimism for the semiconductor industry to make a recovery in 2020." Unfortunately, that optimism--like pretty much every other potentially optimistic development from the last three months--might be short-lived.
TrendForce said the novel coronavirus, which according to Johns Hopkins University has infected at least 222,000 people around the world, could reduce demand for these chips.
"However, as the pandemic multiplies across Europe and the United States, its effects will most certainly make a dent in the economy as well, in turn contracting the global market’s purchasing powers. The economic implications of the pandemic on foundry revenue may be increasingly likely to surface in 2Q20, serving as a test for the industry’s strategic capabilities regarding product planning and risk assessment."
TrendForce wasn't alone in these fears. DigiTimes today reported that global PC sales could fall by as much as 30% year-over-year in the first half of 2020 because of COVID-19. The pandemic's fallout is expected to seriously threaten global economies as people are laid off in the name of social isolation in an effort to halt the virus.