Beancounters at iSuppli are worried that chip inventory levels among semiconductor suppliers are too low.
Where outfits have inventories chips are not being stored nearly long enough before getting jacked under the bonnet of gear. iSuppli said that global semiconductor inventory amounted to $25.73 billion in the first quarter of 2010, up by a scant 1 per cent from $25.48 billion in the previous quarter and rising by a flacid 0.2 per cent from the first quarter of 2009. Inventory in the second quarter is forecast to rise 3.3 percent to US$26.60 billion.
Chip supplier stockpiles for the 10 semiconductor product categories are normal, the report said. But iSuppli believes these numbers are misleading and that the supply chain has been battered more than a fish in a Loughborough chip shop.It thinks that inventories are about 20 per cent leaner than they should be. Chip makers and other participants in the chain are shorter on supply than is widely thought, the report claims.
Data also show that except for a modest increase in the third quarter of 2009 and the rise of values beginning this year.