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Despite a spattering of optimistic sales reports, chip makers aren't out of the woods just yet. According to market research firm Gartner, worldwide chip revenues are on pace to post a 11.4 percent decline in 2009, which would mark the first time the semiconductor industry has ever seen a decline in two consecutive years, and the just the sixth time posting a decline in the last 25 years.
The struggles in the memory sector have been well documented this past year, but surprisingly, memory revenues declined significantly less than the entire semiconductor industry, Gartner says. What's more, Gartner is predicting a recovery for memory makers, largely a result of memory vendors slashing capital spending in the previous years and supply constraints pushing up prices.
Not all memory makers can look forward to 2010, however, According to Gartner, neither the recession or its recovery were felt equally by all semiconductor vendors. Qimonda, for example, was forced into bankruptcy and some of the weaker Taiwan-based players have had a tough go, which allowed most of the major vendors to pick up market share and, in some cases, report revenue growth.
Nevertheless, Gartner says 2009 goes on the record as one of the worst years for the semiconductor industry since the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2001.
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