NOVEMBER 11--For the first time in two years, Forward Concepts (Tempe, AZ; www.forwardconcepts.com) is raising its forecast of the worldwide general-purpose digital-signal-processor (DSP) chip market. According to the company, the shipment numbers are in for Q3 and they are very good. DSP shipments for the first three quarters of 2003 were up 13.6% over the same period last year, according to the WSTS (World Semiconductor Trade Statistics) organization. When you compare this with the 2.3% increase of the worldwide "monolithic IC" market over the same period, DSP is a clear winner.
After reviewing the Q4 market guidance of market leader Texas Instruments and increased projections of cellular-phone shipments by the financial community, the company has increased its earlier 15% shipment growth to 20% for 2003. Also, after earlier cutting back its 2004 forecast, it is also raising it from 20% to 25%.
The DSP market continues its inexorable shift to the Far East. It should be noted that Japan has staged a strong market increase over the last two quarters, driven both by consumer and cellular applications. The Asia-Pacific market consists primarily of Korea and China, with the latter country now the biggest digital wireless customer in the world . . . and digital wireless can only exist through DSP technology. At this point, it should be noted that wireless now accounts for 67.7% of DSP shipments through September 2003.