Worldwide Chip Sales May Grow at Faster Pace, IDC Says

Global semiconductor revenue is expected to rise at a faster pace this year, prompting bigger chipmakers to acquire smaller rivals to increase their market share, according to research company IDC.

Industrywide revenue may expand by between 6 percent and 7 percent this year, IDC said in a statement today. Global semiconductor sales rose 3.7 percent to $301 billion in 2011, as orders for chips used in wireless devices offset declining revenue for computing-related chips, IDC said.

Mergers and acquisitions among chipmakers will continue, after Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) bought Atheros Communications Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) took over National Semiconductor Corp. last year, according to IDC. The industry consolidation may allow bigger chipmakers to offer products that are used in a wider range of applications, the researcher said.

“As large companies with strong cash balances vie for competitive positions, mergers and acquisitions will be a key theme,” IDC said. “There is a trend underway toward more integration.”

Intel Corp. (INTC), Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), Texas Instruments, Toshiba Corp. (6502) and Renesas Electronics Corp. were the world’s five biggest chipmakers last year, according to IDC.

Lower prices for computer memory chips caused revenue from personal-computer semiconductors to fall last year, according to IDC.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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