World market for semiconductors jumps 40% in '95 to $155 billion Increase is attributed to PCs, consumer goods

Manufacturing

January 09, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Driven by the strength of personal computer sales and the exploding market for digital consumer electronics products, the semiconductor market grew by a remarkable 40 percent in 1995, to $154.7 billion in revenue, according to a report yesterday by Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose, Calif.

"The PC market led the trend, but semiconductors across the board are embedded in so many more applications today that if there is a slowdown in one area, another sector tends to pick up the slack," said Mark Giudici, a semiconductor analyst at Dataquest.

The semiconductor market is accelerating from an already strong pace. In 1994, revenue jumped 29 percent, to $110.6 billion, and in 1993, it rose 31 percent, to $85.5 billion, Dataquest said.

It appears the industry is in for another year of solid growth. Not only is the personal computer industry again expected to grow at about a 20 percent annual rate, but a number of semiconductor-hungry consumer products are on the horizon.

In particular, digital video-disk, or DVD, systems, which will store music, videos and data on one disk, will become available this year.

At stake is the outcome of a debate within the industry over whether semiconductor makers have left behind the boom-and-bust cycle that characterized the business until the last five years.

"It's broken the mold because of the pervasiveness of semiconductors," Mr. Giudici said.

Asian suppliers outside of Japan showed the strongest growth last year, increasing their revenue to $18.7 billion in 1995 from $9.8 billion in 1994. That growth, tied to the sale of memory chips, led suppliers from that region to increase their share of the semiconductor market to 12.1 percent last year from 8.9 percent in 1994.

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