Thu, Dec 13, 2007 - Page 12 News List

NXP expects Games to lift sales

DIGITAL TREND The IC firm forecast sales growth from the Greater China region to outpace industry growth, bolstered by China's 3G standard and digital broadcasting

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

NXP Semiconductors, the second-largest chipmaker in Europe, expects revenues from the Greater China region to post double-digit growth next year, mainly because of growing demand for mobile phones and digital TVs during the Beijing Olympic Games, a company executive said yesterday.

China's own third-generation (3G) standard, or TD-SCDMA, and the launch of digital television broadcasting will be the main engine for growth next year, the Eindhoven, Netherlands-based chipmaker said.

"NXP will certainly outpace the semiconductor industry's growth next year," Mike Yeh (葉昱良), NXP's Greater China region executive, told reporters in Taipei.

While NXP's revenues from the Greater China region are expected to rise by double digits next year, the semiconductor industry as a whole is forecast to grow by only a mid-to-high single digit percentage because of slowing electronics demand, the company said.

Last year, some 22 percent of NXP's total revenue of 5 billion euros (US$7.3 billion) came from Greater China market, the fastest-growing chip market in the world.

The region is forecast to account for 35 percent of global semiconductor shipments this year and 40 percent by 2011, market researcher Gartner Inc said.

"The Olympic Games will bring business opportunities next year." Yeh said. "Compared to NXP's other businesses, mobile phones and digital TVs will experience rapid growth on the back of demand for real-time games broadcasting."

The sports games will also spur demand for NXP chips for set-top boxes, which convert analog TV signals into digital, he said.

NXP unveiled the first TD-SCDMA mobile phones last last month in collaboration with China's T3G Technology Co and Samsung Electronic Co in Beijing, although the Chinese government has yet to release any 3G license.

To catch up with its rivals' expansion in the low-cost handset chip market, NXP refocused on the Chinese market by setting up a special team to design and develop solutions exclusively for the local market.

The chipmaker supplies ultra-low-cost handset chips to Chinese electronics firm, Haier Co (海爾), and Lenovo Mobile (聯想移動) for its 2.5-generation, or Edge phones.

To expand its revenue and market scale, NXP will continue to seek merger and acquisition deals, targeting companies with wireless-related technologies such as Bluetooth, NXP said.

NXP acquired Silicon Laboratories and BlueStreak, as well as a chip testing and packaging venture with Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (日月光半導體) in Suzhou, China, this year.

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