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Memory boost drives Samsung growth in '09

Posted: 30 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Samsung memory? IC ranking? semiconductor industry? SDRAM?

iSuppli's preliminary 2009 semiconductor supplier rankings found that South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd is the only top 10 chip supplier expected to show an increase in chip sales this year compared to 2008.

Of the 135 semiconductor suppliers tracked by iSuppli, only 27 are expected to show year-to-year growth, according to the firm.

iSuppli also further revised its semiconductor industry revenue projection for 2009, predicting that industry revenue would be down 12.4 percent compared to 2008. Like many market watchers, iSuppli has revised its chip industry revenue prediction multiple times over the course of a roller coaster year, most recently predicting revenue would decline 16.5 percent in late September.

Dale Ford, senior vice president at iSuppli, noted that though 2009 will be remembered as one of the most dismal in the history of the semiconductor industry, it is shaping up to be a lot better than many thought early in the year, when iSuppli and others predicted semiconductor industry revenue would drop by more than 20 percent. Still, revenue is expected to plunge by more than $32 billion compared to 2008, according to the firm's latest revision.

"There was little room for anything but pessimism after the industry suffered a sequential revenue decline of 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and an 18 percent drop in the first quarter of 2009," Ford said through a statement. But he said chip sales rebounded smartly after that, with sequential increases of more than 18 percent in the second and third quarters and an expected 5 percent rise in the fourth quarter.

"This strong rebound means 2009 will be much less painful than had been feared earlier in the year," Ford said.

The better-than-expected results in 2009 are attributable to a surprisingly strong performance in the memory market as well as in sales of chips for consumer electronics and wireless products, according to iSuppli.

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