Worldwide semiconductor sales totaled $13.42 billion in August, up 4.0% from the $12.90 million in revenues reported in July, and a 12.5% increase from $11.93 billion in sales in August 2002, according to data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). The figures, which represent a three-month moving average of sales activity, are up 7.4% from the March-May 2003 period, and up an eyebrow-raising 20% from the March-May 2002 period.
“With the exception of the peak year of 2000, this is the strongest monthly increase in August since 1990,” commented SIA president George Scalise. A continued broad increase in end-market demand in the consumer, computing, and wireless sectors “is generating stronger third-quarter sales than normal seasonal patterns,” he said.
Thanks to the back-to-school buying season, PC-related products continued to drive semiconductor sales in August, with microprocessors up 7.8% and DRAM sales up 11.0% over July. Also contributing to the sales boost is the beginning of a business cycle upgrade, the signs of which were first seen in 2Q (see WaferNews, V10n32, August 11, 2003). Consumer products, including DVDs and digital cameras, also continued to show strong demand, with application-specific standard products (ASSP) sales up 5.3% and flash memory up 6.9% from July.
Geographically, sales in the Asia-Pacific region showed the most growth between July and August, up 6.4%, followed by Europe (3.6%), the Americas, (2.4%), and Japan (1.6%), which slowed from July’s 4.8% growth. Year-on-year, regional sales grew by at least 12% everywhere except in the Americas, where they were basically flat at 0.4%.