SAN FRANCISCO Buoyed by an increase in main memory, personal computer IC sales are projected to increase by 6 percent in 2006, achieving an all-time high despite a slowdown in PC unit sales, according to a report from market research firm IC Insights Inc.
PC chip sales will reach $73.6 billion in 2006, up from $69.5 billion in 2005, IC Insights (Scottsdale, Ariz.) said. Prior to 2005, the peak level for PC chip sales was $64.2 billion in 2000, according to the firm.
The average PC sold in 2006 contains $319 of ICs, a 4 percent decrease from the average value in 2005, according to the report, released Wednesday (Dec. 6). The PC market will account for roughly 35 percent of all integrated circuits sold in 2006, down slightly from 36 percent in the past two years and 37 percent in 2003, the report said.
PC consumption of ICs in 2006 has been propped up by a 28 percent increase in the amount of main memory, which reached an average of 800Mbytes, up from 625Mbytes in 2005, IC Insights said. Average PC main memory is forecast to rise 35 percent in 2007 to 1,080Mbytes, according to the firm.
Overall, PC sales growth has slowed this year, following the completion of a three-year PC-replacement cycle, which provided a lift in unit volume shipments between 2003 and 2005, IC Insights said. The firm estimates that PC unit sales (both desktop and notebook systems) will increase 10 percent to 231 million in 2006 compared to 210 million in 2005, when PCs grew nearly 16 percent after rising 15 percent in 2004. IC Insights estimates that PC market revenues will increase by only 1 percent in 2006 to $229 billion because of an 8 percent decline in the average selling price