Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 11 News List

MP3s drive memory chip business


Qimonda AG chief executive officer Kin Wah Loh (羅建華) said the company's memory-chip business is "going pretty well" on "strong" demand for chips used in MP3 players and mobile phones.

"We're gaining ground especially in the business with semiconductors for mobile devices such as music players and handsets," Kin Wah Loh said in a speech at an industry conference in Munich yesterday.

Munich-based Qimonda is the world's second-largest memory-chip maker and the biggest unit of Infineon Technologies AG.

Rising sales of Apple Computer Inc's iPod music players and Nokia Oyj's cellular phones have spurred orders for Qimonda, which has been hurt by demand swings in past years.

ASML Holding NV, Europe's largest maker of semiconductor equipment, said yesterday that third-quarter net profit more than tripled to 172 million euros (US$215 million) on increased sales. ASML supplies lithography machines used by chipmakers like Intel Corp to map out the circuitry of semiconductors.

The global semiconductor industry will grow by about 8 percent to US$246.4 billion this year, helped by China's economic boom and rising sales of chips used in mobile phones, market researcher IC Insights said on Tuesday.

Infineon's CEO Wolfgang Ziebart said earlier this year he wants to move the parent company away from the volatile memory-chip business and aims to lower its stake in Qimonda below 50 percent at some point. Qimonda became a legally independent unit of Infineon in May and raised US$546 million in an initial public offering in August.

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