Fri, Feb 03, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan’s IC sales drop 15 percent on weak DRAM

TRADING PLACES:South Korea has replaced Japan as the second-largest integrated circuits vendor, while North America continues its domination of the market

Staff Writer, with CNA

Sales of Taiwan-made integrated circuits fell about 15 percent last year from a year earlier to US$16 billion (NT$472 billion), according to market advisory firm IC Insights.

In a report released earlier this week, IC Insights said Taiwan’s share of the global IC market fell to 6.1 percent last year, from 7.2 percent in 2010.

The decline in Taiwan’s market share reflected “the extreme weakness of the DRAM [dynamic random access memory] market and the corresponding sales decline by [the] country’s memory suppliers,” which included Powerchip Technology Corp (力晶科技), Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) and ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技), the report said.

Last year, South Korea for the first time replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest IC vendor, although South Korean memory chip firms, in particular Samsung Electronics Co and Hynix Semiconductor Inc, encountered a global down cycle, the report said.

Last year, South Korea’s IC sales fell 1 percent from a year earlier to US$42.2 billion, accounting for 16.1 percent of global sales. During the same period, Japan registered an annual drop in IC sales of 8 percent to US$42 billion, or 16 percent of global sales. In 2010, South Korea’s IC market share stood at 16.3 percent, compared with Japan’s 17.4 percent.

IC Insights said North America remained the world’s largest IC vendor last year 2011, selling US$139.5 billion worth of products, up 7 percent from 2010 on the back of the strong performance by chip makers such as Qualcomm Inc, Skyworks Solutions Inc and Intel Corp. Last year’s figure accounted for 53.2 percent of global IC sales, up from 50.1 percent a year earlier.

Over the past three years, North American companies have held a share of more than 50 percent of the global IC market. IC Insights said China took a 1.6 percent market share last year, with sales of US$4.2 billion, up 15 percent from a year earlier.

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