The worldwide semiconductor market broke new records in August with sales topping $20.5bn, up by more than 10 per cent on the same period last year.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that sales for August were also up by 2.1 per cent on July’s $20.1bn, making it the most successful sales month ever. DRam memory chips and a buoyant consumer market are among the key reasons for the bumper sales.
George Scalise, president of the SIA, said: “Once again we saw strong sales across a broad range of semiconductor products, which reflects healthy end markets. Sales growth was led by DRams, which increased by 7.5 per cent from July 2006 and by 31.4 per cent from August 2005, an indication that PC sales remained strong.”
The build-up for the Christmas shopping spree is well under way, according to the SIA, with sales already building for Nand Flash and consumer-specific processors.
Scalise said: “Semiconductor devices for consumer applications – Nand Flash and consumer application-specific semiconductors – showed strong sequential growth, as manufacturers began gearing up for the holiday season. A sharp decline in gasoline prices appears to have boosted consumer confidence, which bodes well for an industry that is now strongly driven by sales of consumer electronic products.
“The worldwide industry now derives more than 50 per cent of its sales from the consumer market.”
The SIA estimated that the chips used in newer consumer products such as mobile phones, Flash-based MP3 players and digital cameras account for an average of 40 per cent of their cost.
Global sales of wireless LAN (WLAN) semiconductors is also looking rosy, according the latest figures from IDC. The researcher predicted that the worldwide market will reach $3.2bn by 2010, a 17 per cent compound annual growth rate.
IDC noted that the outlook is strong thanks to technology advancements in the 802.11 standard, such as single chip, low power devices.
Celeste Crystal, senior research analyst at IDC’s semiconductors group, said: “To remain viable players in this space, chip vendors must think about WLAN as a portfolio technology that can complement products in broadband, wired networking, consumer devices, PC, or mobile device designs.”
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