Samsung Executive Says Semiconductor Growth Rate Will Be Slow

By Laura Stotler September 29, 2011

An executive at Samsung Electronics says the semiconductor industry is expected to grow at a low rate next year due to the global economic slowdown, which has caused major cuts in demand for the chip industry.

Samsung, out of South Korea, is struggling alongside other technology manufacturers with lowered consumer demand and mounting uncertainty about global economic prospects.

"Under an economic slowdown, the visibility of the semiconductor industry is low; the growth rate in 2012 will not be high and technology will be an important factor," Oh-hyun Kwon, Samsung's device solutions head, told reporters at an event in Taipei.

Kwon said Samsung would actively pursue acquisitions as necessary to boost its technology level. In responding to rumors that the company might take full ownership of Samsung Mobile Display (SMD), a joint venture with Samsung SDI, Kwon said he had not heard of such a plan. SMD is a supplier of booming active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays used for smartphones, tablets and gaming machines.

Samsung does have the technology for 3D integrated circuits ready, according to Kwon. The company will launch related products within two to three years as market conditions improve.

Competitive chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. cut its third-quarter revenue and gross margin forecasts on Wednesday.

Number Two PC maker Acer Inc., out of Taiwan, said the company will not break even for 2011 and reported a quarterly loss in August.

In better news, Zarlink Semiconductor, out of Ottawa, Canada, reported fiscal Q1 2012 revenue growth of $55.4 million, up from $54.8 million in the previous quarter. The company cited increased customer demand for packet network timing products as well as revenue from medical wireless products as contributors to the growth.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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