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OSAKA — Sanyo Electric Co. and IBM have developed a new semiconductor for home appliances that can be connected to the Internet, Sanyo officials said Monday.

A huge market is expected to develop for appliances such as TV sets and telephones that can access the Internet, and electronics makers are rushing to develop the necessary new chips.

Sanyo and IBM hope to grab a large share of the market by strengthening technical ties and jointly developing other chips, the Sanyo officials said.

They plan to start shipping the new semiconductor, to be priced at 7,500 yen, on a test basis this fall. They’re aiming for 5 billion yen in sales in the 2003 business year, the Sanyo officials said.

Sanyo and IBM have had cooperative business ties since 1998 in such areas as Internet alliances and telecommunications equipment.

Record sales touted

Japanese makers of microchip-manufacturing equipment posted record-high sales of 1.805 trillion yen in fiscal 2000, up 59.7 percent from a year earlier, an industry body said Monday.

Of the worldwide total, sales to Japan-based computer chip makers accounted for 1.015 trillion yen, a surge of 61 percent and the first time the figure has topped 1 trillion yen, according to the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan.

The figures corroborate reports that information technology-related demand bolstered semiconductor demand in and out of Japan in the fiscal year through March 31, industry officials said.

The combined value of orders received by the Japanese makers during the same period soared 34.8 percent from the year before to 1.963 trillion yen, the association said. But the slowing U.S. economy has affected the buoyant business climate since the beginning of the year.

Orders received by Japanese manufacturers have been below year-before levels for the three-month period ending March 31.

The combined value of orders they received in the October 2000 though March 2001 period of the business year is down 6 percent from a year earlier, it said.

Especially worrisome among the order figures seen in the period were those for February and March of this year. Both months saw orders plunge to half those received a year earlier, it added.

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