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Global semiconductor revenue to surpass $300billion for first time?

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Global semiconductor revenue is forecast to total $314billion in 2011, according to market analyst, Gartner. This figure is 4.6% up from 2010's estimated revenue of $300.3bn and represents continued, but slower growth. Currently, 2010 is on pace to surpass the $300bn mark for the first time – a 31.5% increase from 2009.

"Third quarter sequential semiconductor revenue growth was below the seasonal norm, and company guidance indicates that fourth quarter growth will also fall short and likely become negative for the first time in six quarters," said Bryan Lewis, research vice president at Gartner. "The third quarter of 2010 was the turning point, as semiconductor manufacturing factory utilisation rates peaked midyear and subsequently started to reduce chip lead times and average selling prices. Strong holiday electronic sales will be important in keeping the modest chip correction in check as we start 2011." According to Gartner, the memory segment fared best in 2010 with forecast growth of 49.8%. However, the analyst warns it is also the only market forecast to decline in 2011, with revenue forecast to decrease 2.4%. DRAM is expected to decline 15.6% in 2011 due to weaker than expected pc demand and declining dram prices. NAND memory, however, is expected to grow 24%, as it is the main storage medium designed into many hot consumer electronic products. Gartner believes that from an application perspective, smartphones, mobile pcs and media tablets will fuel semiconductor growth until 2014.