Chip champs chomp bitter pill

Bit of market gloom, Intel loses market share

The global semiconductor market took a hit in the last quarter of 2000 but still produced 31 per cent growth over the year.

However, despite amassing total revenues of $222.1 billion, the mood in the industry is not good, according to analysts Dataquest. Dataquest vice president, Joe D'Elia, said that there was "despondency regarding the future" but suggested that there was no real cause for concern.

"Historically, the industry has gone through inventory corrections during the positive portion of the industry cycle," he said. "We see no reason to believe this current weakening is anything else other than an inventory correction."

Intel retained the top spot in terms of revenue with a 13.4 per cent share of the market, but NEC gave way to Toshiba for the number two slot. The biggest growth was STMicroelectronics, which increased its revenues by almost 57 per cent, and Hyundai made an appearance in the top 10 after growing its sales by well over a third.

It wasn't really good news for Intel though. It suffered the slowest growth out of all the top 10 chip makers because of its reliance on the PC market. It lost market share as a result.

Dataquest found that the slowdown in the market at the end of last year was strongest in the Americas, the largest purchasing region. Revenues in the region reached $71.7 billion for the year while Europe brought in $43 billion. Both regions grew 29 per cent on the previous year. ®