Increased demand for PCs helped to boost the semiconductor market in 2005, and keep Intel in the number-one spot, according to the latest research from Gartner.
Worldwide sales of semiconductors totalled $235bn last year, a modest 5.7 per cent increase over 2004, but enough to break the previous sales record of $223bn in 2000. High PC demand helped Intel stay on top of the semiconductor market. Its revenues grew by 12.6 per cent, more than twice the market average.
Samsung, in second place, maintained its stranglehold on the memory market by controlling the DRam, SRam and growing Nand Flash sectors. However, the greatest growth was experienced by Hynix, which entered the top 10 for the first time in 2005. It recorded sales of $1.5bn for Nand Flash, up by 600 per cent on 2004.
Richard Gordon, research vice-president at Gartner, said: “Personal computers and mobile phones remain the largest drivers for the semiconductor business. However, the popularity of MP3 players accounted for dramatic growth among Flash memory vendors in 2005.”
The Nand Flash memory segment grew by 71 per cent between 2004 and 2005. Gartner also noted that the global trend of sales moving towards the Asia Pacific region continued in 2005, accounting for 44.5 per cent of worldwide chips sales. EMEA was the next strongest region, with sales up by 11 per cent. The US managed just one per cent growth.
This year is shaping up to be a good year in the chip market, despite a dip in sales for February, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Chip sales for February were at $19.2bn, down by 2.2 per cent on January, but still almost seven per cent higher than the same month last year.
SIA president George Scalise, said: “Global sales of semiconductors in February followed normal seasonal patterns. These reflected slower sales of consumer electronic purchases, which are now the principal driver of semiconductor demand. We continue to believe that our forecast for 7.9 per cent growth in 2006 will be achieved.”
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