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World chip sales up in May

SARS effects decline

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Sales of semiconductors around the world grew two per cent in May, rising $240 million to $12.5 million over April's $12.26 billion.

May 2003's sales were almost ten per cent up on the same month last year, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported this past Friday.

The SIA quickly leapt on the year-on-year sales increase of 9.9 per cent as confirmation that the organisation's forecast of 10.1 per cent for the amount chip sales will grow this year over 2002. The SIA has been touting double-figure growth for 2003 since last year, but in June scaled its enthusiasm back from 19.8 per cent to 10.1 per cent - just a fraction a percentage point above face-losing single-figure growth.

Though as a recent Wired article (p53, 7/2003) demonstrates, the SIA hasn't managed to get its forecast to match actual growth for the last six years. In fact, in that period, it hasn't come close.

Still, May's figures do mark something of a upturn on almost negligible sequential growth seen this year to date. According to the SIA, the effect of SARS on sales in the Far East is reducing, bringing consumers back to stores.

Sales in Japan during May rose 26 per cent year-on-year, 11.7 per cent in Asia-Pacific and 9.3 per cent in Europe. US sales declined 6.7 per cent in the same period.

As for semiconductor types, "sales of programmable logic and standard cell chips increased 8.6 per cent in May indicating an anticipated pick-up in telecom spending," the SIA reported, "while in the wireless sector, Flash memory was up 4.4 per cent, and in the computation sector ASSPs were up 3.7 per cent, DRAMs up 2.5 per cent, and optoelectronics were up 6.3 per cent." ®

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