Chip sales confirm broad-based recovery

OCTOBER 7--Worldwide computer-chip sales hit $11.9 billion in August, a 2.2% increase over the $11.7 billion level reached in July, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA; www.semichips.org).

OCTOBER 7--Worldwide computer-chip sales hit $11.9 billion in August, a 2.2% increase over the $11.7 billion level reached in July, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA; www.semichips.org). Year-over-year, chip sales were up 14% from August of 2001, the first double-digit increase from the industry's cyclical low in 2001.

"The August data confirm that the semiconductor industry is in the midst of a broad-based upturn," stated SIA president George Scalise. "After 5.6% sequential growth in 1Q02 and 5.8% growth in 2Q, the double-digit year-over-year increase in August sales is yet further evidence of a sustained and durable recovery."

The wireless market continues to be the strongest end market, as reflected in brisk growth of chips used in handsets, as new subscribers continue to come on-line in Asia and existing customers upgrade to newer technologies, according to the SIA. The PC market traditionally shows sequential 3Q growth as a result of back-to-school purchases and anticipation of the holidays, and both trends were in evidence with sequential increases in microprocessor and DRAM revenues.

Chip consumption in Japan was up 3.5% in August, reflecting Japan's continued strong export sales of popular consumer products. The Asia Pacific market registered growth of 2.7%, led by strong demand for wireless handsets as more and more subscribers come online in China and Asian consumers migrate to 2.5G technology. Chip sales in the Americas declined 0.7%, and in Europe, sales were up 2.8%, primarily due to the wireless sector.

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