Chip Sales Decline Is Biggest Since '85: Worldwide sales of semiconductors fell 8.4% in 1998, the biggest decline since 1985, as computer memory chip prices tumbled because of oversupply, according to market research firm Dataquest. Chip sales totaled $134.8 billion last year, down from $147.2 billion in 1997, Dataquest said in a report to clients. The biggest decline was in dynamic random access memory chips, used most commonly in personal computers. DRAM sales fell 29.5% to $14.6 billion, Dataquest said. Sales of microprocessors--the brains of PCs--and chips used in mobile phones and other communications devices grew 7.7% to $24.4 billion, offsetting some of the losses in DRAM.