In a year that's seen once-heated stocks, including FAANG names, come crashing, it may pay to stick with semiconductors.

Chip stocks -- among the top performers in the past two years -- had a volatile start to the year, as some market watchers had predicted. These stocks have plunged almost 6% in the last few months. But analysts including MKM's Ruben Roy see them moving up in the second half, citing strong demand from data center, automotive and industrial customers and compelling valuations.

"We continue to believe that attractively valued names, with upcoming growth catalysts" are worth buying, Roy said in a research note last month. His top picks include Broadcom Inc. (AVGO  ), Marvell Technology Group (MRVL  ), and ON Semiconductor Corp (ON  ).

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has eradicated double-digit percentage gains twice this year as investors try to make sense of conflicting trends including US-China trade tensions, continued strength in data-center demand, and a decline in smartphone sales. The gauge is up 9% year-to-date, which can be attributed to big increases from companies like Micron Technology Inc. (MU  ) and Nvidia Corp (NVDA  ). The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rose 0.5% at 10 a.m. in New York to extend a four-day gain, its longest winning streak in more than a month. Analysts' price targets for the 30 stocks in the chip index imply a 16% increase over the next 12 months, according to data.

"Semiconductor stocks sort of fit our overarching theme about being a little more value oriented," Jefferies strategist Steven DeSanctis said in an interview.

While sentiment surrounding software and Internet stocks is "off the charts," semiconductor companies are less of a momentum trade, DeSanctis said. Last month, he downgraded his recommendation on small- and mid-cap technology stocks to market weight from overweight. US-focused stocks with compelling valuations are likely to fare better for the remainder of the year, he said.

A forecast boost from Intel Corp. (INTC  ) last month and continued strength in memory pricing should help fuel a 15% increase in revenue to $476 billion for the group in 2018, up from previous expectations for a 12% gain, Morgan Stanley analysts Joseph Moore and Craig Hettenbach said in a note last week. Selectivity is increasingly important and companies with "unique value or growth drivers" such as Nvidia, Broadcom, Analog Devices Inc. (ADI  ) and Xilinx Inc. (XLNX  ) will fare better, Moore and Hettenbach said.

A notable chip name to look out for is Lam Research (LRCX  ), a company that engages in the design, manufacture, marketing, and service of semiconductor processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits. The company's revenue has grown by double digits every year going back to 2013. It grew 43% over the past twelve months.

Chip-equipment makers and materials suppliers including Applied Materials (AMAT  ) and Entegris Inc. (ENTG  ) will gather Tuesday in San Francisco for the annual Semicon West conference. The memory-chip market and US-China trade relations will be key topics of discussion.