Semiconductor sales fell by 10 per cent last year, according to the latest figures from Gartner.
The analyst firm said that the drop in revenues amounted to almost $30bn (£20bn) compared with 2008, and represented two consecutive annual falls.
However, the last quarter of 2009 saw some improvement, suggesting that 2010 may offer a brighter outlook.
"After an unprecedented decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, sequential quarterly revenue growth for the industry overall was very strong in the last three quarters of 2009," said Peter Middleton, principal research analyst at Gartner.
"As a result, 2009 performance overall was much milder than initially feared in the aftermath of the financial crisis."
Intel sold the most semiconductors, and retained the top spot for the 18th year in a row. The company increased its market share by one per cent to 14.6 per cent, but revenues fell by $1.6bn (£1.06bn). Gartner said that Intel's growth was down to the strength of the PC market.
Increased demand for DRAM and Nand Flash, which "forced up pricing substantially through the year", was attributed to helping keep Samsung in second place.
Infineon saw the biggest declines, posting a 43 per cent fall in revenue. Gartner said that this was mostly due to Infineon's Qimonda business going bankrupt and the divesting of its Wireline Communications business.
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