Semi sales to grow just two percent this year

A boost to chip sales in the mobile market was tempered by a slump in the memory segment, as analysts predict just two percent growth to semiconductor sales this year.

Qualcomm is expected to see the most impressive gains of the year according to stats released by IC Insights, with a 33 percent increase in sales for 2011.  This is on the back of Qualcomm’s own positive financial results, with the firm capitalising on increased spending for mobile chips.    

Nvidia also leapt up the chart, entering the top 20 semi firms at 18th place following some success with its mobile chips and graphics processors. This means a predicted 11 percent increase in sales as it climbs from 23rd place last year.

Intel is also expected to see a bumper year for sales, tightening its grip on the number one spot after the acquisition of Infineon’s wireless IC business.  This means that it will increase its lead over Samsung this year, recording 47 percent higher semi sales levels than the Korean, up from a 24 percent margin in 2010.

Others without a large stake in the memory side of the chip market also saw sales boosts.

Infineon saw 30 percent in growth, Sony six percent, Fujitsu 11 percent and TSMC 10 percent.

Sales appear unstable in the memory market, with Elpida expected to tumble six places down the rankings with a decline of 39 percent, or 50 percent if expressed as yen.  This comes off the back of a nose diving DRAM market, with Elpida recently noting a loss of $629 million in the third quarter.

Out of the five big memory suppliers in the top rankings, only Samsung and Toshiba aren’t predicted a dent in their yearly sales.

Samsung and Toshiba are expected to see six percent and three percent increases respectively, though Hynix and Micron are both likely join Elpida on a downward trend.  In fact, Micron will be looking to the mobile chip market to steady its ship, while Hynix appears to be in freefall.