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SIA warns of slowing chip growth

The Semiconductor Industry Association is warning of harder times ahead for chipmakers, as the massive growth experienced in 2010 slackens off over the next two years.

In projections released this week, SIA predicted that global semiconductor sales would hit $300.5 billion by the end of the year, or around £185.4 billion - an impressive growth rate of 32.8 per cent compared to the previous year.

Before chip makers get too excited, however, it went on to warn that next year's figures will look a little weaker, with a projected growth in 2011 of just six per cent - better than a loss, but still significantly less than many in the industry were hoping.

2012 doesn't look like improving the industry's fortunes, either, with SIA's projections predicting a minuscule 3.4 per cent growth for the year, totalling predicted sales of $329.7 billion, or £203.4 billion, world wide.

Brian Toohey, SIA's president, explained: "We experienced record sales this year due to strong global demand across a broad range of end markets," but warned the industry to, "expect more moderate growth through 2012 as the economy recovers and consumer confidence restores."

The projections are far from bad news for the industry, representing a predicted 13.4 per cent compound annual growth rate throughout the three-year period between 2010 and 2012, but will come as a disappointment to those who thought that the good times of 2010 could continue for ever.