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Semiconductor sales will grow at an annual rate of 7.7 per cent until 2010, when they'll exceed $321bn, according to the latest industry figures.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) says consumers' seemingly insatiable appetite for electronic products is driving this growth. Emerging consumer markets in Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe are also going to fuel chip sales in the coming years.

Looking at 2007 the SIA predicts global semiconductor sales will hit $257.1bn, an increase of 3.8 per cent over 2006.

"Consumer purchases continued to drive industry growth in 2007 despite rising energy costs and other concerns," said SIA president Gary Scalise. "Unit sales of personal computers, cell phone handsets, MP3 players, and digital televisions were very robust in 2007."

The SIA noted that sales of personal computers, the largest single market for microchips, are now expected to grow by 11-12 per cent in 2007. Meanwhile, handset unit shipments are forecasted to grow by 12 per cent, MP3 and PMP (portable media player) unit sales are forecasted to grow by 20 per cent, and digital TV units by 50 per cent by the end of the year.

Looking ahead, the SIA predicts sales of $276.9bn in 2008, an increase of 7.7 per cent; $296.2bn in 2009, a jump of seven per cent; and $321.5bn in 2010, a rise of 8.5 per cent.

No one regional market will stand still in the next few years, according to the SIA, which projects growth in all markets through 2010. However, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to be the fastest growing regional market, growing from 48.4 per cent in 2007 to 51.1 per cent in 2010.

© 2007 ENN

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