Is the Sky Falling or Rising for Semiconductors?

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Is the Sky Falling or Rising for Semiconductors?

Where are we in the economic cycle for semiconductors?
Recently, surrounding the volatile price-cycle of semiconductors, optimistic and pessimistic prospects are crossing.

Optimists at international research institutes including Dataquest and IDC estimated recently that the world market for DRAM semiconductors would expand by 24~30% and reach 15.8~26.9 billion dollars next year.
The WSTS, world semiconductor maker association, predicts that the market will expand by 14% next year and by an average 22% until 2001.
The justification for these robust growth figures is that from next year the demand for high speed and mass capacity DRAM semiconductors will increase a great deal.

Meanwhile pessimists insist that the semiconductor market will be unable to expand sharply due to the recession in Southeast Asian markets and a surplus in the personal computer market.
They think that even though some makers decreased production for semiconductors, the current surplus conditions will continue for the time being. They point out that the IDC estimates that the world-wide supply of DRAM semiconductors (on the basis of 16 M-DRAM) would increase by 70% next year.

The price of semiconductor (64M-DRAM) has recently recovered from 8 dollars earlier this year to around 10 dollars at present. But this is a far cry from early last year where the price was 30 dollars or so.

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