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Intel Leaves WSTS: Is It Really a Big Deal?

This week Intel confirmed that it has left the WSTS organization and, as such, will not be participating in the industry monthly data collection. Additionally, AMD pulled out of WSTS late last year. These are two significant players whose information will not be part of the official survey results.

Is this really a big deal?

It is disappointing to hear that these two companies do not see the value in participating in data collection for the semiconductor industry. As an analyst firm, Semico Research utilizes the monthly, quarterly and annual data as one of many reference points to triangulate our forecasts.

But Intel and AMD are not the only significant semiconductor companies that do not participate in the WSTS reporting structure. Other non-reporting members include:

  • Broadcom
  • Apple
  • Altera
  • a multitude of smaller yet growing companies.

These six large companies represent more than 25% of the world’s semiconductor revenue each year, and it's likely that their percentage will continue to expand. This is where reputable primary research and analysis becomes paramount in providing accurate and coherent forecasts.  In many cases, Semico’s forecasts are several levels more granular than what is reported in the WSTS data. Semico relies on our relationships with industry contacts to conduct primary research.  Our extensive internal databases and decades of experience help to accurately model technology adoption and our semiconductor device forecasts.

While it's sad to see another two companies drop out of the reporting structure, it does not pose a significant impact to Semico Research.  In 1997, the WSTS stopped reporting the semiconductor book to bill ratio.  Semico replaced that indicator with the Semico IPI (Inflection Point Indicator), an index which accurately forecasts changes in the direction of semiconductor sales growth.

Is this recent change really a big deal? For Semico, not so much. Semico has decades of experience tracking non-reporting companies.  Over the last 16+ years Semico has built interactive databases that quantify the industries manufacturing capabilities, market shares, relationship to end applications, capital investment, technology migration and adoption.  The data and the analysis of that information are used to derive our technology roadmaps and forecasts.  Bloggers and smaller research firms are going to be at a disadvantage.  They will have a harder time forecasting the market without these leading companies in the WSTS reporting structure.

This does mean that analysts will have to do their homework.  All data is not created equal.  Semico’s advice:  Be careful who you listen to.