Good news has been hard to come by recently, with rapid swings in many marketplaces, in the unsteady performance of Wall Street, and the lack of consumer confidence in the spending that fuels most world economies. Amidst the doubts, however, market research firm iSuppli Corp. sees some hope for semiconductor foundries in its latest forecast of foundry revenues and markets. The research firm projects that pure semiconductor foundry revenues will increase by more than 39 percent in 2010, reaching $24.8 billion. That is a dramatic increase over the $17.8 billion in semiconductor foundry revenues for 2009.

This good news is not just for short-term foundry business either. The market research firm forecasts that foundry revenue will reach $35.9 billion with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.5 percent by 2013. According to Len Jelinek, Director and Chief Analyst for Semiconductor Manufacturing at iSuppli, "Unless conditions deteriorate once more, previously pent-up need for new consumer products will fuel foundry demand, iSuppli believes." Of course, high-frequency foundries are a small part of this total. But the overall trend should be comforting for those who have leaned heavily on military business over the last several years, wondering if commercial and consumer electronic markets for semiconductors would ever rebound.