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Worldwide Semiconductor Market Grew 3.7% in 2011 to $301 Billion

Worldwide semiconductor revenues increased more than 3.7% year over year to $301 billion in 2011, according to the latest version of the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiconductor Applications Forecaster (SAF). The industry weathered the macroeconomic uncertainties in the U.S and Europe, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, China's slow down in the second half of the year, and floods in Thailand. Meanwhile, device applications, such as smartphones, media tablets and e-readers, automotive infotainment, notebook PCs, datacenter servers, and wireless and wired communication infrastructure drove robust consumption of semiconductors.

IDC's SAF tracks more than 100 semiconductor companies. Over 40 of these companies experienced year-over-year revenue growth greater than 5%, while about the same number of companies saw their revenue decline by more than 5%.

Sony and Nichia Develop New Smaller Blu-ray Disc Laser Unit

Sony and Nichia Corporation have jointly developed new Blu-ray laser technology that should lead to thinner and smaller notebook drives. The new blue-violet laser measures 14 x 7.4 x 3mm and is expected to be built into slimline Blu-ray drives that can be fitted into ultra-portable laptops, in-car entertainment systems, handheld disc players and maybe a new version of the PS3 console. The module can read and write dual-layer Blu-ray Discs as well as read the newer organic media. Both companies anticipate mass production of drives using the extra-compact laser towards the end of the year.
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