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World chip sales record ‘strong’ 2003 growth

Slightly better in 2004

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Global chip sales grew 18.3 per cent last year, rising from 2002's $140.8 billion to $166.4 billion, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said today.

That's just 1.5 percentage points lower than the 19.8 per cent forecast the SIA made back in November 2002. Come June 2003, following the Iraq conflict and the SARS outbreak, and the SIA downgraded its prediction to 10.1 per cent. Last November, on the back of growing sales through the second half of 2003, the SIA upped its forecast to 15.8 per cent.

In the event, the second half of 2003 yielded sales of $91.4 billion, up from $75 million in the first half. Q4 2003 alone contributed $48.1 billion worth of seminconductor sales, up from $43.3 billion the previous quarter.

December's sales were 28 per cent higher than December 2002's total. The SIA has forecast 19.4 per cent growth during 2004, yielding sales worth $198.7 billion, based on today's 2003 total.

Microprocessor sales were up 7.9 per cent in Q4 2003 over Q3. DRAM sales grew 10.6 per cent over the same period. Fabs' capacity utilisation exceeded 95 per cent in Q4, propelled by strong seasonal demand, but should drop slighting during the current quarter, reflecting historical industry patterns, the SIA said.

"All geographic markets recorded rising chip sales in the final quarter of 2004, with sales in Europe up 14.5 per cent sequentially, Japan up 10.5 per cent in the quarter, sales in the Americas up 10.2 per cent, and Asia Pacific revenue up ten per cent," the SIA said. ®

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