Global semiconductor sales surge to US$261bn

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Global semiconductor sales surge to US$261bn

2006 worldwide revenues up 11 percent.

Semiconductor firms have enjoyed a good year as global sales in the sector reached US$261.4bn, an 11.3 percent increase from 2005, according to preliminary results from Gartner.

"Strong growth in DRam picked up in 2006 where Nand Flash left off the year before," said Jeremey Donovan, research director at Gartner. "Outside DRam, wireless semiconductor sales once again drove strong performance in the industry."

Intel held the number one vendor spot in 2006, even as its revenue declined 9.5 percent. This is the 15th year that Intel has been the top semiconductor vendor, according to Gartner.

However, the analyst firm noted that, until the fourth quarter, Intel lost share as its CPUs in the server and consumer enthusiast segments were inferior to AMD's in price/performance.

Many PC OEMs increased their offerings of AMD-based platforms with Intel-only stalwart Dell ultimately selling AMD across its mobile, desktop and server product families.

Revenue was further eroded by an across-the-board price war in which Intel had more to lose as the larger vendor.

Samsung Electronics, the number two player, continued to gain share, accounting for 7.9 percent of the market.

Samsung now dominates most areas of the memory market, holding the top position in the DRam, SRam and Nand Flash markets.

AMD moved into the top 10 in 2006, helped by its acquisition of ATI.
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