There will be over 150 million broadband households worldwide by 2005, with the largest number installed in the Asia-Pacific region, according to analyst firm Research and Markets.

Both North America and Western Europe are expected to have over 40 million broadband households by then. Broadband will also prove a strong driver for home networks.

China will emerge as the world's leading online gaming market by 2007, according to The Diffusion Group. The country already has over 80 million Internet users and approximately 15 million broadband subscribers, and an estimated 15.9 per cent of Chinese Internet users play online games.

Finally, analysts at Gartner note that spending on wafer fabrication plants will continue to be volatile over the next few years. Investment in fabs will rise 72 per cent this year to $28.8 billion but then fall back 22 per cent over the following two years to $22.4 billion. The industry continues to suffer from a chronic demand/supply imbalance.