The European semiconductor industry ended 2017 on an upbeat note. According to DMASS semiconductor sales as reported its members in Q4/2017 ended with an increase over Q4/2016 of 11.6% at 2.01bn Euro, the highest-ever winter quarter recorded by DMASS. The full year 2017 ended 14.6% higher at 8.5bn Euro, also an all-time record.
Georg Steinberger, chairman of DMASS commented: “A combination of several factors led to this all-time-record year for DMASS members: high demand in all industries, long lead-times and price increases, new and exciting technologies, deeper penetration of existing applications with more semi technology. We see, however, a slight slowdown in the growth rate and a high order backlog, which in combination could mean a certain risk for 2018. The first quarter 2018 will show in which direction the year will go.”
From a regional perspective, Q4 turned out over-proportionally positive for Nordic, Benelux, Iberia, Italy, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Israel, with Germany sitting right on the average. For the full fiscal year, the South and the East that drove the growth in semiconductor distribution.
In Q4, of the major regions/countries, Germany grew by 11.7% to 597m Euro, Italy rose 13.8% to 170m Euro, France’s 9.8% rise achieved 143m Euro and overtook the UK which grew 5.3% to 142m Euro. Nordic ended 20.8% up at 184m Euro and Eastern Europe jumped 12.4% at 316m Euro.
Added Steinberger: “The long-term tendency of a production and thus market shift from the West to the East continues. Also Germany’s share of the European DTAM, which has been up to 34% in the past, came down to ~30% now.”
Product-wise, Q4 showed strong performance in Discretes, Power, Sensors, Opto and Memory, while Analogue, MOS Micro and Logic in general (Programmable, Standard, Other) seemed to struggle. Analogue components grew “only” by 8.5% to 571m Euro, and MOS Micro rose 9.9% to 424m Euro (mainly driven by high-end MCUs).
Power surged 23.9% to 209m Euro, Opto lifted 14.5% to 211m Euro, and memories soared 18% to 170m Euro. Programmable Logic was the laggard edging ahead 1% to 139m Euro.
Concluded Steinberger: “Interestingly, the strongest product groups in the DTAM historically were also the ones that performed below-average in Q4 and the entire year – Analogue, MOS Micro and Logic. Of the biggest single product categories, clearly the stars in 2017 were FETs and High-End MCUs.”