Chip industry still in downward spiral

The global semiconductor industry has shrunk for two years in a row but still performed better than expected.

Figures published by number crunching outfit Gartner reveal that total worldwide semiconductor revenue fell by $26.8 billion to $288.4 billion in 2009, down 10.5 per cent on the previous year.

Intel stayed at the top of the chip shop top ten buoyed by healthy laptop and netbook sales despite an overall decline of $1.6 billion.

Samsung was one of a handful of companies which managed to increase its income over the year, mainly because the floor fell out of the NAND and DRAM markets in 2008 and the Korean company was best placed to fill underestimated inventories once the market picked up.