DRAM famine due next year

Demand for memory to boost semiconductor revenues, limit supply

Survey Expect DRAM to be in short supply in 18 months' time -- that's the warning market researcher Dataquest sounded yesterday. It's an interesting conclusion, not least because of the semiconductor industry is currently experiencing a DRAM surplus and prices are falling. Dataquest believes that increased demand for PCs, consumer electronics kit and communications devices, which together account for two-thirds of the semiconductor market, will boost demand for memory, in turn limiting supply and pushing up prices. Driving the demand for systems will be "the digital home, the global communications explosion, personal mobility, e-commerce and the need for more bandwidth", said the company. It predicts the industry will experience double-figure growth this year (12.6 per cent), next year (17 per cent) and during 2001 (21.6 per cent), after which the oversupply cycle will kick in again, and growth will plummet to a mere 5.9 per cent. By 2003, the global semiconductor market will be worth $244 billion, up from $153 billion this year. ®

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