Opinion is divided on the future of the chip market. Research firm IDC predicts a global upturn starting next year and extending to the end of the decade.
But Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, told 100 industry executives at a recent convention that the recession in the processor market is far from over.
He said: 'The integrated circuit industry is in a state of recession.
Unfortunately, the recession is going to continue for a while yet, perhaps even for two more years.'
Chang's comments differ from those of IDC senior analyst Akira Minamikawa, who said that the increasing demand for communications equipment, which accounts for around 60 per cent of semiconductor consumption, would inevitably see the market return to buoyancy.
In 1995, the value of the market stood at $147 billion, which has slumped to an estimated $142 billion for 1996. IDC predicts that this will rise to $263 billion in 2000.
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