December 1, 2003 – Worldwide semiconductor sales continued to rebound in October, posting the eighth consecutive monthly increase and largest month-to-month gains since 1990, according to data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Worldwide semiconductor sales rose to $15.43 billion in October, a 6.8% increase from the $14.45 billion in September and 23.3% higher than October 2002. While October is typically a strong month, “this exceeds historical norms,” stated SIA president George Scalise. “This growth cycle is dynamic and broad-based, drawing strength from all geographic markets, all product sectors, and all end-markets.” So far in 2003, chip sales have grown 16.4% from last year, and SIA reaffirmed projections of double-digit growth in 2003 and 2004.
Leading the growth were DRAMs and microprocessors, which were up 8.0% and 6.6%, respectively. Wireless technologies also showed robust growth — flash grew 12.7% and digital signal processors grew 9.3% in October — thanks in part to renewed momentum in China, where 5 million new cell phone subscribers are added per month. Seasonal demand for electronics devices helped boost optoelectronics (up 5.2%) and standard cells (up 6.3%). Scalise also noted a revised US GDP growth of 8.2%, driven by strong consumer spending and an upwardly revised 18.4% increase in business spending on computers and software.
Geographically, all markets reported month-to-month growth slightly higher than in September, led by Europe and the Americas. All geographic markets also expanded their year-on-year growth, led by the Asia-Pacific region (31.0%), Japan (24.8%), and Europe (20.8%), with the Americas also posting a double-digit gain. For the moving three-month average, all markets showed better double-digit growth than in the September period: Americas 15.0%, Europe 19.7%, Japan 12.4%, and Asia-Pacific 22.9%.