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AMD claims chip sales growth to beat industry average

Down but not out in 2001

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AMD admitted yesterday that it too will be hit by the global downturn in the chip market, but it's not going to be as badly off as its competitors.

Speaking at a Banc of America securities and investment conference in San Francisco, AMD's VP for External Affairs (whatever that is), Ben Anixter, said that while analysts are now expecting the semiconductor business to grow between seven and 15 per cent this year, AMD's own growth rate will fall toward the top of that range.

Essentially, AMD is betting on further increases in sales of its Flash memory product to counter the dip in memory and microprocessor shipments brought about by the slowdown in the PC market.

"There is some inventory to digest, but worldwide PC units will grow in the low to mid-teens in 2001," Anixter said, cited CBS' Marketwatch. At the same time, he said, AMD reckons Flash sales will grow 35-40 per cent during 2001.

Last year, total worldwide sales of Flash memory grew more than 133 per cent, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. Microprocessor sales grew 17.2 per cent, DRAM chips by 39.5 per cent. The SIA also said yesterday that its previous prediction the worldwide chips sales would grow by 22 per cent this year was now "unlikely" to be met, largely because of the volume of unsold inventory being carried over from 2000.

Anixter claimed AMD's R&D budget would climb 15 per cent to more than $700 million this year. ®

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