NOVEMBER 5--According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA; San Jose, CA; www.sia-online.org), global semiconductor sales climbed to $36.9 billion in 2002's third quarter, an 8.2% sequential increase from $34.1 billion in revenue reached in this year's second quarter and a 21% rise from the corresponding period of 2001. "The recovery of the semiconductor industry has picked up breadth and strength as the year has progressed," stated SIA president George Scalise. "We achieved solid 8.2% revenue growth in the September quarter, following 5.6% sequential growth in the first quarter of 2002 and 5.8% growth in the year's second quarter, with momentum across major product sectors, including wireless, digital consumer products, PCs and automotive."
The wireless market continues to be the strongest single growth market for chips, as new consumers come on-line in record numbers in Asian markets and existing subscribers upgrade to new 2.5/3G technologies offering video messaging and wireless Internet access. Flash, DSP, and wireless ASSPs were all up by double digits in the September quarter. Chips used in such popular consumer products as video games, DVDs, and digital cameras also rose in the quarter, including 21% growth in standard cells and 15% growth in optoelectronics.
The third quarter is traditionally a strong quarter for personal computers, reflecting both back to school purchases and buying for the holiday season, and this year was no exception with quarterly revenue growth of 4.9% in DRAMs, 4.6% in microprocessors, and 12% in peripherals.
The increase in chip sales mirrors the overall increase in US business spending on capital equipment and software, which rose by 6.5% in 2002's third quarter, the second straight increase after six consecutive quarters of decline.
Chip sales rose 8% in the September quarter in the Asia-Pacific market, the world's largest market for chip consumption as electronic equipment manufacturing outsourcing to the region continues. Chip sales increased 15% in Japan, driven by Japan's exports of consumer products. In Europe, a strong wireless market, chip sales rose 7.9%, while sales in the Americas were up 1.9% in the quarter, another manifestation of outsourcing to the Asia Pacific region.