Pandemic to hit semiconductor market hard this year, says IDC

Paul Barker | Mar 25, 2020 | News

In addition to the human cost of life, the impact of the spread of the virus on the global economy is only beginning to be appreciated and has deep implications for the world's technology supply chain, says research firm IDC.

A new report, Impact of COVID-19 on the Worldwide Semiconductor Market Forecast, provides its view on the impact the COVID-19 virus will have on the semiconductor market.

A new IDC report analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global semiconductor market and presents several possible outcomes.

“The emergence of COVID-19 has brought with it travel bans and quarantines; massive slowing of the supply chain; uncertainty in the stock market; falling business confidence, and growing panic among the population,” said Mario Morales, program vice president, semiconductors and enabling Technologies at IDC.

“Despite the growing uncertainty and panic, technology suppliers must continue to focus on their long-term investments, maintain engagement with partners and prospects, and look to specific markets for stability.

“Emerging technologies like 5G, the Internet of Things, high-performance computing, and intelligent edge will be fundamental to an overall recovery by the technology sector.”

IDC is estimating that there is:

  • Nearly an 80% chance for significant contraction in worldwide semiconductor revenues in 2020, instead of a previously expected minor overall growth of 2%.
  • A one-in-five chance that a fast, strong bounce back from COVID-19 in 2020 is possible.
  • On a global level, the COVID-19 crisis is just beginning, with too many variables to immediately craft a single forecast in response.
  • The impact to technology supply chains in China are significant, but the timing of the recovery is uncertain.

At this time, IDC said it “believes the most likely outcome for this event will be a year-over-year revenue growth rate of -6% for the worldwide semiconductor market in 2020. We give this scenario a 54% probability.

“Under this scenario, the supply chain will start to recover, and quarantines and travel bans will ease, over the summer. For the worldwide semiconductor market, the impact will be US$25.8 billion.

“While the impact of the virus will be felt through the bulk of the year, the accumulated knowledge about the virus, public health initiatives, and other efforts will to some degree mitigate harm done by COVID-19. In the short term there will be lower demand for systems and some impact to component availability, but as recovery sets in, growth will return to the market.”

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