Demise of PC greatly exaggerated, says AMD President Hector Ruiz

Pebble Beach, California–Despite the recent slowdown in sales of PCs, the market is alive and well, and growing at a healthy clip. In fact, sales should recover in the second half of the year, hitting $41 billion in 2002, compared to $30 billion in 2000. That was the prediction of Hector Ruiz, president and COO of AMD, keynote speaker at SEMI’s ISS 2001.

Ruiz was particularly upbeat about future PC sales growth, not only for his own company, but for the entire industry. This is considered positive for the companies that make and sell the equipment used to manufacture semiconductors, or what are more commonly known as chips.

“Despite the current downturn in PC sales, I believe reports of the demise of the personal computer have been greatly exaggerated, and I expect recovery in demand no later than the second half of the year,” said Ruiz.

Meanwhile, Ruiz predicted that sales of flash memory chips, which are quickly becoming a key component of everything from automotive systems to cell phones to video cameras, should double between 2000 to 2002, to $21 billion in 2002 from $10 billion in 2000.

“Demand for flash memory products has been growing at a compound annual rate of approximately 100% since the mid-1990s. Despite an aggressive capacity expansion program, flash memory producers have been unable to keep up with demand and we believe the supply-demand imbalance will continue the next several years.”

Based on that forecast, Ruiz said AMD and his competitors will invest heavily in capacity addition, a positive sign for SEMI’s members who supply the machines used to make those and other kinds of chips.

On the immediate horizon, he said AMD would invest, either on its own or through partners, in two 300mm production facilities, one for flash memory production and another for advanced logic products.


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