Gartner now expects global semiconductor sales 6.7% Y/Y in 2014 to $336B; the firm previously forecast 5.4% growth.
DRAM sales, boosted by strong pricing, are expected to grow 18.8%. But Gartner adds many other industry segments, including ASICs, FPGAs, analog chips, and non-optical sensors, are also doing well. As one would expect, mobile hardware demand is fueling much of the growth.
Trade group SEMI recently estimated global chip equipment sales would rise 20.8% this year to $38.4B, and 10.8% in 2015 to $42.6B. Investments in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies (3D transistors, 3D NAND flash, 14nm) is driving much of the growth.
Is a lot of the good news priced in? The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX) has easily outperformed the Nasdaq this year, thanks to optimism about improving growth and industry consolidation. Benchmark observed today inventories have been rising for much of the semi supply chain.