sia 1The chip industry has a brighter forecast than during the summer, but 2009 will still go down as a dismal year with a 11.6 percent decline in revenues, according to the semiconductor industry’s trade group.

Worldwide chip sales are expected to be $219.7 billion this year, down from $248.6 billion in 2008. But sales are forecast to grow 10.2 percent in 2010 and by another 8.4 percent to $262.3 billion in 2011, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

In June, the SIA expected chip sales to fall 21 percent. But the industry has been improving every month as the recession isn’t as severe as previously thought. By comparison, market researcher Gartner believes chip sales will fall 17 percent in 2009 and rise 10 percent in 2010, while market researcher iSuppli believes sales will drop 16.5 percent in 2009.

“The new forecast is brighter than our earlier projections, reflecting an improving global economy,” said SIA president George Scalise in a statement. “Unit sales of key demand drivers – including PCs and cell phones, which together account for about 60 percent of semiconductor demand – have been stronger than previously predicted. We remain cautiously optimistic for the longer term. The current forecast is closely tied to projections of continuing improvement in the worldwide economy.”