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World chip sales break record but miss industry forecast

Growth driven by consumer electronics biz

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World chip sales totalled $247.7bn last year, the US-centric Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said late Friday. Alas that's below the SIA's own full-year sales forecast of $248.8bn, a prediction made only last November.

Still, the actual figure represents an 8.9 per cent increase on 2005's total, $227.5bn. The issue appears to have been December's sales, which were down 4.4 per cent on November's $22.7bn to $21.7bn. And even $247.7bn is a record.

Worldwide sales in Q4 2006 were $65.2bn, an increase of nine per cent over Q4 2005 sales of $59.9bn and an increase of 1.9 per cent over Q3 2006 sales of $64bn.

The SIA attributed the growth at the door of the consumer electronics industry, which is buying semiconductors like never before to build HD TV sets and set-top boxes, digital media players, and mobile phones.

The SIA expects 2007 to yield full-year sales of $273.8bn, up 10.5 per cent on 2006's total.

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