Fourth-quarter 2001 is first quarter without drop in chip sales

FEBRUARY 12--Worldwide sales of semiconductors in 4Q01 were the same as 3Q01 at $30.5 billion, ending three quarters of double-digit declines, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (San Jose, CA; www.sia.org).

FEBRUARY 12--Worldwide sales of semiconductors in 4Q01 were the same as 3Q01 at $30.5 billion, ending three quarters of double-digit declines, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (San Jose, CA; www.sia.org). Sequentially, the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions actually grew 3.7% in 4Q01; in Japan, recessionary pressures pulled chip demand down 11.8% for the quarter.

"Product comparisons show a number of improving trends in the fourth quarter," said George Scalise, SIA president. "Key demand drivers, wireless handsets and personal computers, bottomed out in the third quarter and recorded double-digit increases in the fourth quarter. Semiconductors used in these products, including microprocessors, digital-signal processors, and DRAMs, also registered double-digit gains. In addition, in a challenging environment, US companies were able to increase global market share from 50% to 51%."

Worldwide sales for the month of December totaled $10.18 billion, down 4% from November's $10.6 billion, and down 43.1% from December 2000's $17.89 billion.

On a monthly basis, Japan's sales dropped 8.5% to $2.13 in December, from November's $2.32. Europe dropped 5.3% from November's $2.32 billion to December's $2.2 billion. The Asia Pacific region went from $3.46 billion in November to $3.39 billion in December, and the America's lost 1.2% from November's $2.5 billion to December's $2.47 billion.

But, according to Scalise, the December drops aren't a surprise. "Except for 1999," he said, "monthly semiconductor sales in December for the past six years have registered a decline just as we are seeing this year."

SIA's year-end numbers reveal that sales for the 2001 global chip market totaled $139 billion.

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