Chip market in decline

According to industry analyst firm Dataquest the worldwide semiconductor market suffered its biggest decline since 1985 with 1998 revenue dropping to £134.8bn (£82bn), a decline of 8.5 percent from 1997 results.

The DRAM market suffered the steepest decline, with 1998 revenue down nearly 30 percent from 1997 revenue.

Intel still leads the field and now has 16.9 percent share of the world's seiiconductor market with nearest rival NEC capturing 6 percent of the market. Siemens experienced the strongest growth among leading vendors, growing by 9.2 percent last year and climbing to number eleven in chip charts.

According to Joe D'Elia, senior chip analyst the DRAM market is to blame. "The overcapacity in DRAM spread to other product categories and dragged most average selling prices down," he said.