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World chip sales down in February

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Global chip sales fell fractionally during February, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said today after revising January's total upward.

Some $18.05bn worth of semiconductors were sold in February this year, down two per cent on the previous month's $18.41bn, but up 15.8 per cent on February 2004's $15.59bn sales.

A month ago, the SIA said January's sales totalled $18.27bn. The revised figure, puts the month's sales on a par with the total recorded for December 2004, but increases the decline experienced in February, though that's a shorter month, of course - more so, given the Chinese New Year holiday takes place in that month.

The SIA described the figures from the first two months of the year as "encouraging" and "stronger than expected".

"Relatively strong sales of PCs and cell phones have led to year-on-year sales growth for microprocessors up 11 per cent from February 2004, DRAMs up 36 per cent, and ASICs for wireless applications up 53 per cent," the SIA said.

Those sales are increasingly coming from consumers, the organisation noted. Over half of all semiconductors sold in 2004 ended up in consumer-oriented kit, it said.

"The semiconductor content of a vast array of products purchased by individual consumers - from automobiles to personal communications devices and home entertainment systems - has risen dramatically in recent years," the SIA said. "As a result, our industry is paying closer attention to indicators of consumer confidence. At this time, those indicators appear to be positive.

"The overall health of the global semiconductor industry remains strong. If the current trends continue, our forecast for flat industry sales for 2005 could prove to have been overly cautious," it forecast. ®

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