As the shake-up in the rankings, largely the result of the severe economic downturn that hit the semiconductor industry in 2001, occurs worldwide chip sales in February totalled A$20 billion, the same as January's sales.
The recovery in the IC business is somewhat mixed, according to research company IC Insights.
In-Stat/MDR finds that manufacturers of synchronous optical network (SONET) and synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) equipment suffered heavily in 2001, due to a sharp cut back on capital expenditures by telecommunications carriers and the demise of many competitive local exchange carriers.
Intel has produced memory chips containing 330 million transistors through manufacturing technology that will hit the mainstream in 2003.
The memory market looks set to be more stable and profitable in 2002, and this could mean higher prices.
Phillip Bullock, IBM Australia/New Zealand CEO, has said the company is trying to develop a computer flexible enough to roll up and put in your pocket.
Citing a dramatic increase in average selling prices coupled with a slight increase in consumer demand for PC memory upgrades, market research company iSuppli has raised its forecast for the DRAM market.
Recent advances in mobile phone technology have generated demand for memory with high levels of functionality and capacity. However, there is no standardisation in the packaging of the chips that power them.
IBM has announced that is has created what it believes is the fastest semiconductor circuit, operating at speeds of more than 110GHz and processing an electrical signal in 4.3 trillionths of a second.
Philips semiconductor division has debuted an advanced mixed-signal audio codec chip for LCD-based handheld applications, such as PDAs, 3G mobile phones and other mobile devices.
In spite of current economic conditions, the market for semiconductor development platforms is forecast to continue positive growth according to Cahners In-Stat/MDR, the high-tech market research firm.
Intel Australia has issued a warning to Australian consumers to be wary of laptops containing processors designed for desktop computers.
The use of digital signal processors (DSPs) in the design of customer-specific products, or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), offers a high-growth, high-margin opportunity, according to Cahners In-Stat/MDR.