Chipmakers regaining equilibrium

For the first time in more than a year, OEM orders emanating from several sectors appear to be bringing semiconductor supply and demand close to equilibrium as suppliers report fewer order changes and cancellations.

The unrelenting problems in the PC and telecom markets notwithstanding, chipmakers are even expressing the first hints of confidence that end-market demand could add a small spark of hope in a year that many are still determined to write off.

"Our lead time stabilized in the second quarter and we believe now that bookings are tracking end-market demand," said Kirk Pond, chairman, president, and chief executive of Fairchild Semiconductor International Ltd., South Portland, Maine. "I think our customers are in reasonable shape. I don't think anybody is particularly worried about inventories right now, within reason."

Not surprisingly, few executives interviewed last week were in a celebratory mood; after all, pricing pressures persist and both profits and revenue are far below the record highs reached in 1999 and portions of 2000.

News source: EBN - Chipmakers regaining equilibrium

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