Arik Hesseldahl

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Global Chip Sales Down on Thailand Flooding

Chip sales were disrupted by the effects of the flooding in Thailand and by the euro zone crisis in November, the Semiconductor Industry Association, a chip industry trade group, reported today.

Global sales of semiconductors were $25.1 billion in November, representing a decrease of 2.4 percent from October. On a year-to-date basis, global chip sales were up by 0.8 percent versus the same time in 2010.

Last month, Intel slashed its sales outlook by $1 billion on concerns that effects of floods in Thailand would impact demand for PCs, and thus for its microprocessors. The flooding has caused what’s being described as the most significant supply chain disruption to the PC and server industry in a generation.

SIA President Brian Toohey described the disruption as a near-term problem. “Supply chain disruptions resulting from the floods in Thailand have impacted semiconductor sales in the near term, however OEMs” — PC and other electronics manufacturers — “are expected to recover production losses over the course of the next few months,” he said in a statement.

“November sales were additionally affected by the continuing European financial crisis which is having a broad impact on other economies and global demand,” he said. The impact from Europe is especially clear in the 11.5 percent drop in sales to that region, which you can see in the chart below, a screen-grab from the SIA’s press release.

(Image credit: iStockphoto | V777999)

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work