Friday, May 3rd 2019

Semiconductor Chip Sales Suffer Fourth Largest Decline in 35 Years

According to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization, the semiconductor manufacturing world has just seen one of the largest contractions in the last 35 years. The downturn on produced revenue for manufacturers for the month of March consolidated into a decline of 1.8% compared to February of this year, and a decline of 13% when compared to March 2018 - but quarter-reviewed revenues were even worse. In greenback terms, the semiconductor industry saw a decline from $114.7 billion in the previous quarter to "just" $96.8 billion.

The decline was across all semiconductor product categories, as John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) trade group, said: "Sales in March decreased on a year-to-year basis across all major regional markets and semiconductor product categories, consistent with the cyclical trend the global market has experienced recently." Market analysis firm IC Insights says that the decline was more severe than the WSTS reports, and that it totaled a 17.1% reduction in revenue for the first quarter of this year, making it the fourth biggest decline since 1984. As IC Insights said in a statement, "The first quarter is usually the weakest quarter of the year for the IC market, averaging a sequential decline of 2.1% over the past 36 years, but the severity of the 1Q19/4Q18 IC market drop has started this year off at a very low level."
Sources: EETimes, via Tom's Hardware
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25 Comments on Semiconductor Chip Sales Suffer Fourth Largest Decline in 35 Years

#1
fynxer
YeaY, this summer u will be able to buy really cheap DDR4 memory.

Check your local second hand market for used DDR4 in July and begining of August to make the deal of your life.
Posted on Reply
#2
Valantar
It would be extremely interesting to know how much of this is due to the bursting of various price bubbles (crypto, the DRAM price fixing scheme, NAND price drops) and how much of it is due to an actual YoY decrease in unit sales. Given that all three of the aforementioned bubbles were entirely artificial and in no way sustainable for the industry, I'm tempted to see this as a positive sign for the industry (at least that would be the rational view), though I wouldn't be surprised whatsoever if this triggered yet another round of sell-offs from the highly irrational and entirely profit-focused stockholders and thus another round of mergers in the ever more consolidated and near-monopolized tech sector. Unregulated capitalism breeds monopolies, after all.
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#3
yakk
Economy slowing down has its perks like slowing prices for sure!
Posted on Reply
#4
Valantar
yakk, post: 4040915, member: 158293"
Economy slowing down has its perks like slowing prices for sure!
Pretty sure this is the other way around, with falling prices (DRAM, NAND) and the collapse of certain specialized, large and unsustainable markets (crypto) being the source of a lot of this. After all, the economy slowing down tends to make manufacturers increase prices to maintain profits.
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#5
yakk
Valantar, post: 4040917, member: 171585"
Pretty sure this is the other way around, with falling prices (DRAM, NAND) and the collapse of certain specialized, large and unsustainable markets (crypto) being the source of a lot of this. After all, the economy slowing down tends to make manufacturers increase prices to maintain profits.
Increasing prices is being attempted by some like Apple & Nvidia come to mind for components. If their branding & marketing can't sustain the increased prices then they'll drop.
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#6
Flyordie
Company I work for never increased prices above inflation. Its funny how companies that pay their execs millions charge more and care less about customers than those who's execs make under $1mil/yr.
Posted on Reply
#7
fortiori
Flyordie, post: 4040988, member: 61056"
Company I work for never increased prices above inflation. Its funny how companies that pay their execs millions charge more and care less about customers than those who's execs make under $1mil/yr.
Many of those CEOs sit on each others boards and vote themselves higher pay at the expense of their workers and shareholders. Every year their pay packages balloon a little more, with each new high watermark in compensation raising the yachts of all executives (because in CEO land, pay is based on what the other CEOs get) while the boat-less employees get left behind decade after decade. The corporate controlled media then jumps in and trumpets how valuable the executives are based on their completely engineered salaries (because gosh darn it, if the CEOs weren't worth that much they wouldn't be getting paid that much) and people like Jim Cramer jump to their defense like a loaded spring when those stories are challenged for being the propaganda they are.

In 1950 CEOs made 20-1 the average worker.
In 1980 it was 42-1.
In 2000 it was 120-1.
In 2014 it is 204-1.

This did not happen by happy accident.
Posted on Reply
#8
R0H1T
This looks more like another round of global downturn may just be around the corner?
fortiori, post: 4041004, member: 137415"
This did not happen by happy accident.
Capitalism & all its perks :pimp:
Posted on Reply
#9
Valantar
R0H1T, post: 4041006, member: 131092"
This looks more like another round of global downturn may just be around the corner?
Capitalism & all its perks :pimp:
A lot of the (things that were in hindsight identified as) portents of the 2008 financial crisis are currently in a significantly worse state than they were in 2006-7 and have been worsening over the last few years, and there are ever fewer compensatory mechanisms as each crash is used as an argument for further deregulation (which even non-corrupt politicians seem to eat up).

The future is looking ever brighter. In the short term there'll be a worse financial crash than ten years ago, and in the long term our living areas will flood, our food supply will shrink dramatically due to insect death, erosion/soil degradation and climate change, and all the while people keep voting for politicians in the pocket of the looter class who seem to think they'll ride it all out on their megayachts.
Posted on Reply
#10
fortiori
R0H1T, post: 4041006, member: 131092"
This looks more like another round of global downturn may just be around the corner?
Capitalism & all its perks :pimp:
Valantar, post: 4041011, member: 171585"
A lot of the (things that were in hindsight identified as) portents of the 2008 financial crisis are currently in a significantly worse state than they were in 2006-7 and have been worsening over the last few years, and there are ever fewer compensatory mechanisms as each crash is used as an argument for further deregulation (which even non-corrupt politicians seem to eat up).

The future is looking ever brighter. In the short term there'll be a worse financial crash than ten years ago, and in the long term our living areas will flood, our food supply will shrink dramatically due to insect death, erosion/soil degradation and climate change, and all the while people keep voting for politicians in the pocket of the looter class who seem to think they'll ride it all out on their megayachts.
That which shines twice as bright burns half as long.
Look out below.
Posted on Reply
#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Non-required purchases are being held off for Ryzen 3###.
Posted on Reply
#13
RichF
R0H1T, post: 4041006, member: 131092"
Capitalism & all its perks :pimp:
So, we were communists in 1950? :)

Or, is what we're talking about creeping socialism for the rich? Remember too big rich to fail? How are bailouts capitalism? What we saw was insiders creating a bubble, profiting from it due to insider knowledge, and making bad investments because they knew they'd be bailed out.

What we're seeing is a return to the robber baron years. The USA used to have strikes because children complained that they should have a 55 hour workweek, no longer.
On July 7, 1903, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones began the March of the Mill Children from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt’s Long Island summer home in Oyster Bay, New York, to publicize the harsh conditions of child labor and to demand a 55-hour work week.

During this march, Jones delivered her famed “The Wail of the Children” speech.

Roosevelt refused to see them.
Mary Harris Jones
I asked the newspaper men why they didn’t publish the facts about child labor in Pennsylvania. They said they couldn’t because the mill owners had stock in the papers. “Well, I’ve got stock in these little children,” said I, “and I’ll arrange a little publicity.”
Valantar, post: 4041011, member: 171585"
further deregulation (which even non-corrupt politicians seem to eat up).
What non-corrupt politicians? As soon as a person is elected to a major higher office that person is automatically going to fail to represent all of his/her constituents. It's not possible to do so. It may sound like I'm splitting hairs here but there is an unresolvable conflict between society and the individual that exists in politician vs. constituent. Someone who tries to represent everyone simultaneously could be seen as having no principles, no inherent beliefs. What then, is the point of having such a person around — to read polls? So, to get elected, politicians lie, including "white lies" — nebulous promises and rhetoric designed to sound like it means representing the will of all of the constituents. Honesty doesn't sell in politics, especially not as one rises in the hierarchy. If Mr. Smith had gone to Washington he would have felt fortunate to have found a job as a clerk. Cliques are how politics works, too. Monied cliques and their pressure front groups (which includes, among other things, the big press and organized religion).
Valantar, post: 4041011, member: 171585"
The future is looking ever brighter. In the short term there'll be a worse financial crash than ten years ago, and in the long term our living areas will flood, our food supply will shrink dramatically due to insect death, erosion/soil degradation and climate change, and all the while people keep voting for politicians in the pocket of the looter class who seem to think they'll ride it all out on their megayachts.
Voting is more of a theatrical exercise than not. The people one votes for are those chosen by the rich, plus the voting systems are absurdly on the network and have no serious security — making it really easy to substitute whatever outcome those in power desire. Even "populists" who "fight for the average family" like Elizabeth Warren come from places like Harvard (as opposed to a certain conman who was a multimillionaire by the age of two). The Ivy League perpetuates the status quo. Chomsky said it's the handmaiden of power. And that's best-case for average people (someone who is, at least, educated and, at least, gives lip service to working people without it being completely fraudulent) and thus labeled "radical far left" commie socialism — "unelectable". When the populace is comprised of so many stupid people you get a stupid system. And, of course, knowledge is power so it's in the interest of the ruling class to keep knowledge under their control.

Technology is going to entrench and expand stratification (the concentration of wealth in few hands), as AI will make it increasingly easy to control the narrative, in terms of Internet information veracity (and general informational veracity, as always). It will be trivial for AI to pump out billions of webpages with false information, forcing ordinary people to rely more and more on a small select group of megacorps and their governments to give them the promise of factual information. Video and images will be able to be doctored more easily and, again, we will have to rely on certain powerful entities for "proof" about what is and isn't real. AI is going to outpace the ability of humans to keep up, just as corporations, which the Supreme Court corruptly said are people, have so many advantages over people. Give the corporations AI and their power over individuals grows exponentially.

As far as food supply goes, it will take a while for "first world" countries to feel the pinch, since something like 25% of all food is thrown away, uneaten, globally. Maybe it's 50%. Whatever the number is, it's really high. Food quality, though, will decline, with things like arsenic and heavy metals contaminating things due to contaminated soil from farming and industry. Prices will rise as the food supply deals with things like global warming and people become more aware of things like intentional arsenic pollution in poultry (to kill parasites from overcrowded filthy conditions) and thus pay the premium for organic. Food waste isn't just a "bad Americans" issue. I've seen so many Chinese college students (some driving Mazeratis) leave 1/3 of their dinners uneaten, sometimes even 1/2, at not-inexpensive Chinese restaurants, that I doubt it's all anecdotal. But, I wouldn't doubt it for a minute that the US leads in per-capita food waste.

As for the NAND thing, Anandtech ran an article recently that said all of the major NAND players (Samsung excepted) have cut production. (As for Samsung, I think whether or not it planned to cut or has cut was unclear.) It seems awfully convenient (i.e. collusion) for them to have cut production simultaneously. However, how does one prove the difference between smart business and price fixing? Why does it matter, actually, if the outcome is identical? This seems to be an example of intent having little relevance in criminal justice.
Posted on Reply
#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
18 years not 35:

It was worse 18 years ago than 35.
Posted on Reply
#15
jmcslob
Memory should be at its cheapest point just as the new Ryzen launches.
That's what I'd call "all the stars aligning to near perfection" for AMD.
Posted on Reply
#16
RichF
jmcslob, post: 4041412, member: 67555"
Memory should be at its cheapest point just as the new Ryzen launches.
That's what I'd call "all the stars aligning to near perfection" for AMD.
November of 2016 I got 16 GB of 3200 DDR4 for $90, which was a sale price at Microcenter but hardly anything amazing at that time. It's now May of 2019 and we're supposed to celebrate DDR4 RAM getting back to the same price it was several years ago? That doesn't seem to me to be exciting at all.

It would be different if the technology were cutting-edge or near to it. DDR5 for $90 or ~4000 speed 1.35V DDR4 for $90 would be something to talk about. I suppose Samsung B die for $90 would be interesting. I vaguely recall reading an article from Anandtech that said DRAM makers were cutting production the same way NAND makers were recently said to be in the process of doing. Maybe I've missed the latest details in DRAM pricing trends so maybe the situation is more exciting than I understand currently.
Posted on Reply
#17
GoldenX
fortiori, post: 4041004, member: 137415"
Many of those CEOs sit on each others boards and vote themselves higher pay at the expense of their workers and shareholders. Every year their pay packages balloon a little more, with each new high watermark in compensation raising the yachts of all executives (because in CEO land, pay is based on what the other CEOs get) while the boat-less employees get left behind decade after decade. The corporate controlled media then jumps in and trumpets how valuable the executives are based on their completely engineered salaries (because gosh darn it, if the CEOs weren't worth that much they wouldn't be getting paid that much) and people like Jim Cramer jump to their defense like a loaded spring when those stories are challenged for being the propaganda they are.

In 1950 CEOs made 20-1 the average worker.
In 1980 it was 42-1.
In 2000 it was 120-1.
In 2014 it is 204-1.

This did not happen by happy accident.
I can hear the Freedom Soldiers coming for you man.
Posted on Reply
#18
yeeeeman
This is also because the greediness in this industry is getting higher and higher. The rapid pace of development that we see nowadays is not companies want to inovate and move things further, but because they need to increase revenues each and every freaking quarter. As an IT company you need to create false necessities for your customers, like we get nowadays with phones, laptops, etc. One could use a, lets say, Galaxy S7 for 5 years without any real issue, but new displays with no bezels (like that is a real desiderate), new fabrication process and just the simple wish of many people to have the newest thing on market, make people pay for it.
I think we are at a point where phones/laptops/it tech in general, has reached a very good and polished state. If you compare a Galaxy s3 with a galaxy s6 you can see a clear improvement in screen, materials, speed, camera, etc. If you compare a Galaxy S7 to a Galaxy S10, you can't feel a real speed difference in general usage, camera is basically the same with improved software, display is a bit better, but overall construction and feel is close between them. I wish that this rapid pace would stop, CEOs and investors would stop gathering money and start living their life more, because we have become very good at technology and science and money, but we have forgot to be humans and enjoy the simple things...
Posted on Reply
#19
fortiori
yeeeeman, post: 4042007, member: 127591"
This is also because the greediness in this industry is getting higher and higher. The rapid pace of development that we see nowadays is not companies want to inovate and move things further, but because they need to increase revenues each and every freaking quarter. As an IT company you need to create false necessities for your customers, like we get nowadays with phones, laptops, etc. One could use a, lets say, Galaxy S7 for 5 years without any real issue, but new displays with no bezels (like that is a real desiderate), new fabrication process and just the simple wish of many people to have the newest thing on market, make people pay for it.

I think we are at a point where phones/laptops/it tech in general, has reached a very good and polished state. If you compare a Galaxy s3 with a galaxy s6 you can see a clear improvement in screen, materials, speed, camera, etc. If you compare a Galaxy S7 to a Galaxy S10, you can't feel a real speed difference in general usage, camera is basically the same with improved software, display is a bit better, but overall construction and feel is close between them. I wish that this rapid pace would stop, CEOs and investors would stop gathering money and start living their life more, because we have become very good at technology and science and money, but we have forgot to be humans and enjoy the simple things...
Reminds me of Oscar Wilde's insight: "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."


RichF"
Technology is going to entrench and expand stratification (the concentration of wealth in few hands), as AI will make it increasingly easy to control the narrative, in terms of Internet information veracity (and general informational veracity, as always). It will be trivial for AI to pump out billions of webpages with false information, forcing ordinary people to rely more and more on a small select group of megacorps and their governments to give them the promise of factual information. Video and images will be able to be doctored more easily and, again, we will have to rely on certain powerful entities for "proof" about what is and isn't real. AI is going to outpace the ability of humans to keep up, just as corporations, which the Supreme Court corruptly said are people, have so many advantages over people. Give the corporations AI and their power over individuals grows exponentially.
And this is reminiscent of that boot Orwell spoke about, stomping the human face - forever.

But then there's Joseph de Maistre's contention that: "Every nation gets the government it deserves."
What then, can we do to deserve better?
Posted on Reply
#20
SoNic67
fortiori, post: 4041004, member: 137415"
In 1950 CEOs made 20-1 the average worker.
In 1980 it was 42-1.
In 2000 it was 120-1.
In 2014 it is 204-1.

This did not happen by happy accident.
Companies just got bigger, thanks to globalism.
How many "average workers" have today's the companies from above compared to 1980? What total revenue are we talking about? Statistics is just a math game, you can pick whatever variables fit your narrative.
Also, most of the good paying, union, manufacturing jobs moved in China today.
Posted on Reply
#21
Valantar
SoNic67, post: 4042302, member: 152626"
Companies just got bigger, thanks to globalism.
How many "average workers" have today's the companies from above compared to 1980? What total revenue are we talking about? Statistics is just a math game, you can pick whatever variables fit your narrative.
Also, most of the good paying, union, manufacturing jobs moved in China today.
Nothing in what you're saying justifies executive pay multiplying like that, though. And the figures listed are AFAIK for companies and workers within the US, not low-paid workers abroad.
Posted on Reply
#22
Vayra86
fortiori, post: 4042178, member: 137415"
What then, can we do to deserve better?
Start a revolution so we can make all our mistakes all over again ;)

Power corrupts, that is what it all comes down to. So you need systems with checks and balances, and for markets, that is regulation and this very much forgotten idea of 'common sense'.

In my view its not very relevant what name it has. Communism, socialism, capitalism, democracy or not... every system will fail if it isn't consistently improved based upon facts and results. Its a constant race and battle to keep those in power away from corruption and anyone saying otherwise has a stake in the matter.
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#23
SoNic67
Capitalism didn't fail yet.

USA turning to socialism five that impression, but it's just brainwashed youth that don't know history. So they are bound to repeat the same mistakes, lured with promises of "free stuff", taken from "the rich", like in any previous socialist or communist take over.
Envy and greed are basic human emotions that are preyed upon here, nothing new. It's not relevant how much a CEO makes, if I still have a decent, happy life. But, if I can't even buy toilet paper, because I can't find any, it doesn't help that there are no CEOs left in the country and that everyone is miserable. I still wipe my ass with leafs.
Posted on Reply
#24
fortiori
Vayra86, post: 4042498, member: 152404"
Start a revolution so we can make all our mistakes all over again ;)

Power corrupts, that is what it all comes down to. So you need systems with checks and balances, and for markets, that is regulation and this very much forgotten idea of 'common sense'.

In my view its not very relevant what name it has. Communism, socialism, capitalism, democracy or not... every system will fail if it isn't consistently improved based upon facts and results. Its a constant race and battle to keep those in power away from corruption and anyone saying otherwise has a stake in the matter.
I agree, I've noticed that many people seem blind to the notion that power corrupts nearly everyone who wields it--from the King, to the councilman, to the local cop on the beat. And as someone far smarter than I once said, 'Power without oversight is the fastest route out of a democracy.'

We can learn from our mistakes though and make a stronger judicial and regulatory bulwark against corruption and decay. However without the people paying attention and providing oversight then ultimately it won't matter much... we'll eventually get the government we deserve again.
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