Worldwide semiconductor sales totaled $12.90 billion in July, up a bit from the $12.54 billion in revenues reported in June 2003, and a healthy 10.5% jump from $11.68 billion in sales a year ago, according to data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Sales of PC-related products were a strong factor in semiconductor sales in July, with microprocessors up 5.6% and DRAMs up 8.2% over June figures. Demand for DVDs, digital cameras, and related products continued to drive consumer sales; optoelectronics sales increased 5.3% over June, with flash memory up 5.7%.
SIA President George Scalise says the July sales represent a “continued strengthening of the semiconductor market,” which will exceed SIA’s forecasted sequential growth of 5.9% in 3Q03. SIA predicts the consumer, computation, and communications sectors will all see significant gains due to “seasonal third-quarter patterns, such as consumer builds for back-to-school and the year-end holidays.”
Geographically, sales in Japan grew the most between June and July, up 4.8%, followed by the Asia Pacific region (2.9%), Europe (2.3%), and the Americas (1.0%). Europe’s sales reflect a rebound from June, when sales declined 4.1%. Compared with June 2002, sales in all regions grew by double-digits except in the Americas, where they were down 3.5%.
SIA data indicate capacity utilization at the leading edge (0.15-micron and below technologies) has reached 94%. “Excess inventory in the supply chain is now negligible and in-line with normal patterns,” says Scalise.