Chip sales break 2000 record year, says Gartner

Worldwide chip sales will hit US$235 billion this year, beating previous record

Revenue from worldwide semiconductor sales is expected to set a new record this year, according to research released by Gartner. Revenue will reach US$235 billion in 2005, a 6.9% increase from 2004, the research firm reports. That would beat the previous revenue record, set in 2000, of US$223 billion.

Demand for flash cards and USB flash drives plus the success of Apple’s iPod shuffle drove growth for the year, Gartner says.

Intel still holds the number one spot for revenue in the segment. While its growth rate is typically below average, in 2005 Intel’s revenue grew twice the market average, or 14.3%. Increased shipments of mobile PCs boosted Intel's component sales, driving its overall revenue growth. Samsung Electronics came second place with almost US$18 billion in revenue for the year.

For only the fifth time in 25 years, Koninklijke Philips Electronics was not in the top ten. The boom this year in the memory market, where Philips doesn’t compete, pushed the company out of the top runners, says Gartner.

Hynix Semiconductor is a new entrant to the top-ten list. In the NAND flash market, Hynix's revenue is expected to hit US$1.5 billion in 2005, up from US$212 million in 2004, says Gartner.

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