Research firm iSuppli predicts chip sales will dip 2 percent this year, mainly due to the very weak performance of memory chip suppliers. The report says memory IC sales are expected to drop 16.9 percent this year, without the memory market the global semiconductor revenue would actually rise by 2 percent.
Out of the biggest memory IC suppliers, Qimonda should be the hardest hit with a 40.7% decline in revenue. Both Hynix and Nayna will see 29.1% slumps, and Samsung (both the world's biggest memory supplier and the second-biggest semiconductor maker) should see its revenue fall by 9.1%. iSuppli's Dale Ford comments, "About the only good thing that can be said about the 16.9 percent decline in memory revenue in 2008 is that it pales in comparison to the 48.2 percent plunge in 2001."
That said, iSuppli points out that other chipmakers won't necessarily fare any better. The research firm expects six of the world's top 10 semiconductor suppliers—including Texas Instruments and Renesas—to suffer revenue drops this year.