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Global Microchip Sales to Rise 10% This Year: Industry Group

Global sales of microchips are expected to rise about 10% to $273.8 billion this year after increasing 8.9% to $247.7 billion in 2006, an industry group said on Friday.

Sales in December were $21.7 billion, a 9% increase from December 2005 and a 3.6% decline from $22.5 billion in November 2006, the Semiconductor Industry Association said.

Fourth-quarter sales were $65.2 billion, up 9% from a year earlier and up 1.9% from the third quarter.

Sales have benefited from the spread of microchips into a broad array of consumer gadgets, such as mobile phones, digital music players and high-definition television sets, and a booming market for memory chips.

"2006 was the year of the consumer in the electronic industry," SIA President George Scalise said in a statement.

Major chipmakers include PC processor giant Intel, memory chip leader Samsung Electronics of South Korea, and Texas Instruments , the biggest supplier of cell phone processors.

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