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Record 2006 chip sales

Worldwide chip sales topped US$247.7 billion last year, led by the sale of consumer electronics.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said the record revenue, up 8.9% on 2005, was driven by growth in consumer electronics products such as mobile phones and MP3 players.

"2006 was the year of the consumer in the electronics industry," commented SIA president George Scalise.

"Sales growth was largely driven by popular consumer products such as cell phones, MP3 players, and HDTV sets - all products that have proliferated as semiconductor technology has enabled dramatically lower costs coupled with improved functionality," he added.

Scalise pointed out that despite the increased use of chips in consumer electronics products, PCs continued to account for a significant portion of semiconductor consumption. He said around 235 million personal computers were shipped in 2006.