Dataquest: Chip revenue plummeted in 2001

Semiconductor companies worldwide saw their worst year ever in 2001, with revenue dropping by more than one-third to US$152 billion for the year, according to a report issued Wednesday by Dataquest Inc., a division of market research firm Gartner Inc.

All the top 10 semiconductor companies saw revenue drop drastically for the year, ranging from Europe's largest chip maker, STMicroelectronics NV, which saw a 19.4 percent drop in revenue, to NEC Corp., which saw revenue drop 49.4 percent year-on-year, according to a Dataquest statement.

The figures will make it difficult for some companies to return to form, and are likely to result in consolidation among chip makers in 2002, Dataquest said in the report, "Preliminary Worldwide Semiconductor Market Share Ranking, 2001."

Japan's NEC saw the largest drop in revenue of the top 10 companies, which Dataquest attributed to the shift in the company's DRAM (dynamic RAM) revenue to Elpida Memory Inc., NEC's memory joint venture with Hitachi Ltd., as well as declining product revenue.

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