Product life cycle (PLC) prediction plays a crucial role in strategic planning and policy definition for high-technology products. Forecast methodologies which can predict PLCs accurately can help to achieve successful strategic decision-making, forecasting, and foresight activities in high-technology firms, research institutes, governments, and universities. Over the past few decades, even though analytic framework strategies have been proposed for production, marketing, R&D (research and development), and finance, aiming at each stage of PLCs, forecast methodologies with which to predict PLCs are few. The purpose of this research is to develop a novel forecast methodology to allow for predictions of product life time (PLT) and the annual shipment of products during the entire PLC of multiple generation products. A novel two-stage fuzzy piecewise regression analysis method is proposed in this paper. In the first stage, the product life-time of the specific generation to be analyzed will be predicted by the fuzzy piecewise regression line that is derived based upon the product life-time of earlier generations. In the second stage of the forecast methodology, the annual shipment of products of the specified generation will be predicted by deriving annual fuzzy regression lines for each generation, based upon the historical data on the earlier generations' products. An empirical study predicting the life-time and the annual shipment of the 16 Mb (Mega bit) DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) PLC is illustrated to validate the analytical process. The results demonstrate that two-stage fuzzy piecewise regression analysis can predict multiple generation PLT and PLC precisely, thereby serving as a foundation for future strategic planning, policy definitions and foresights.
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