Via sees chip sales up for 2001

Taiwanese chip maker sees success with products for both AMD and Intel processors

Taiwan's Via Technologies said sales were up more than 10 percent for 2001 over the previous year, making it one of the few companies that did not see its revenues plummet during the economic slump of the past year.

Via, which is the second-largest maker of chipsets after Intel, and also makes motherboards and other computer components, said its net sales for December totalled 2.15bn Taiwanese dollars (about £43m), while accumulated revenues for the year were 34.15bn Taiwanese dollars. The figures represented a 10.41 percent increase over Via's 30.9bn Taiwanese dollars in sales for 2000.

Chipsets link the main processor of a PC to other components, such as memory.

Global sales of semiconductors dropped by 33 percent in 2001, the sharpest decline in the history of the industry and one that sets the stage for a further shakeout among major vendors next year, according to a study from Gartner Dataquest last month.

Via's most successful products are its chipsets for PC processors like AMD's Athlon 4 and Intel's Pentium 4. Via has been tangled in a legal dispute with Intel over the past few months over its right to make a Pentium 4 chipset, but the product has found its way to customers regardless.

"We are very pleased with this result," commented Richard Brown, Via's director of marketing, in a statement. "The increase of over 10 percent on last year shows that Via is still performing strongly despite tough market conditions."

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