In the wake of downward forecast revisions for many high-tech products such as semiconductors, PCs, and mobile handsets, there are some sectors of the high-tech market that we analyze and forecast will exhibit growth in 2009. There are others for sure, but these are part of the litany of sectors we analyze at The Information Network.
The Solar panel market for 2009 will reach only 7.1 GWatts in 2009, equivalent to a global growth rate of 26%, down from a 48% growth in 2008. Panel prices will likely fall between 20 to 30% in 2009 as global supply of polysilicon doubles. Solar companies will attempt to renegotiate silicon supply contracts to get better prices. While this is good news for the solar market, near-term poor macroeconomics will impact installations. The solar panel market is expected to pick up again in 2010, growing 48% to 10.5 GWatts of newly installed PV systems. The thin-film sector, which includes amorphous silicon, CdTe, and CIGS, will represent 17.8% of the market in 2009. Plagued by low efficiencies in the region of 7-12%, the thin film sector will be compensated by lower manufacturing costs.
HARD DISK DRIVES (HDDs)
The HDD market will grow 12.5% in 2008 to 567 million units, and we project the shipments to reach 618 million units in 2009, a growth of 9%. Competition is coming from solid state drives (SSDs) such as flash for small form factor products such as iPods and at the enterprise level for 2.5 inch drives. In 2009, we will see pilot lines for Discrete Track Recording (DTR) technology. The evolutionary methodology will be an opportunity for HDD manufacturers to stay competitive in the disk drive market.
Nanomaterials consumption for electronics applications will grow 40% in 2009. Nanomaterials utilization in Semiconductor applications will have a 62.6% share of the $800 million market in 2009, primarily because of utilization of Designer Molecules for DUV photoresists and for Slurries for chemical mechanical planarization. Nanotubes and Nanowires will enter the semiconductor market after 2010 and begin to gain share.
LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAYS (LCDs)
Demand for large-sized LCDs in 2008 will be 423 million panels up 16% from 2007. The market will grow another 15% in 2009. LCDs for notebook computers will reach 199 million units while LCDs for TVs will hit 114 million units.
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices are another technology bucking the trend. MEMS devices are the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate through microfabrication technology. However, growth is not across all sectors. One of the largest is the automobile sector. The $1.4 billion market will be flat in 2008 and down about 10% in 2009. The consumer sector is another area impacted by the recession and downturn in consumer confidence. The sector will grow only 5% in 2008 to $3.3 billion and another 9% in 2009.