April 8, 2009 / 7:31 AM / 11 years ago

Intel unsure when stimulus will lift chip demand

Showgoers try out notebook and netbook computers at the Intel booth at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 9, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

BEIJING (Reuters) - Intel Corp (INTC.O), the world’s largest chip maker, is uncertain when demand for semiconductors will revive, Chairman Craig Barrett said on Wednesday.

Asked when he expected to see a recovery in the chip industry, Barrett said stimulus packages being rolled out by governments around the globe would probably have an impact over the next six to 18 months.

“So you pick your time that you want the recovery to occur in that six to 18-month period, and your guess is as good as anyone’s,” he told reporters during a visit to Beijing.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said global chip sales fell about 30 percent in February as consumer and business demand slumped for an array of devices that use semiconductors, from personal computers and mobile phones to automotive products.

Demand for chips is likely to remain well below 2008 levels for the next few quarters before a gradual recovery takes hold as the global economy regains strength, the SIA said.

Ian Yang, president of Intel China Ltd, said the company was proceeding on schedule with a new $2.5 billion factory in Dalian, a port city in northeastern China.

“The construction of our plant in Dalian is going smoothly and completely according to plan. There is no change there,” Yang told the briefing.

Reporting by Jason Subler; Writing by Alan Wheatley; Editing by Ken Wills and Chris Lewis

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