Worldwide semiconductor revenues are projected to total $316 billion in 2012, a 4-per cent increase from 2011, according to a report from research firm Gartner.
This outlook is up from Gartner's previous forecast in the fourth quarter of 2011 for 2.2 per cent growth.
"The semiconductor industry is poised for a rebound starting in the second quarter of 2012," said Bryan Lewis, research vice president at Gartner. "The inventory correction is expected to conclude this quarter, foundry utilization rates are bottoming, and the economic outlook is stabilising."
In the memory sector, DRAM pricing is expected to improve beginning in the second quarter of 2012. The DRAM market will show a slight revenue increase in 2012 after being the worst-performing market in 2011, declining 25 per cent, the report said.
DRAM prices were down about 50 per cent in 2011, and Gartner analysts expect pricing to rebound in part due to Japan's only DRAM chip maker Elpida Memory filing bankruptcy protection. (See: Japan's only DRAM chip maker Elpida files for bankruptcy)
NAND flash memory, however, is one of the fastest-growing device types in 2012, with revenue forecast to grow 18 per cent. Analysts attribute the NAND flash growth to a strong increase in mobile consumer devices and solid-state drives.