January 6, 2004 – Worldwide semiconductor sales continued to report solid gains in November 2003, posting growth for the ninth consecutive month and a solid double-digit increase from a year ago, according to data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Sales in November were $16.13 billion, compared with $15.43 billion in October and $14.45 billion in September, and were up 25.7% from November 2002. With one month to go in 2003, chip sales were 17.4% ahead of 2002’s mark, and SIA predicts sales for the full year will outstrip its earlier projection of 15.8% growth.
Leading end-market contributors in November were DRAM (up 4%) and microprocessors (up 3%), thanks to strong PC sales. The global wireless market also showed strength; flash memory was up 11.2%, and DSPs were up 3.5%. Sales of global consumer electronics showed typical seasonally-strong sales, thanks to the end-of-year holidays and demand for multifunction devices, including DVDs and digital cameras. This led to gains in non-PC technologies — optoelectronics was up 5.3%; MOS logic was up 4.8%; and application-specific analog was up 4.6%.
In what has become a repetitive statement, SIA president George Scalise expects broad-based strength in all markets, particularly in the computation, communications, global consumer, and automotive segments. Capacity utilization topped 95%, maintaining a level of “modest pricing power” in the industry, according to SIA.
Geographically, all markets reported sequential gains between 4%-6%, down slightly from October’s across-the-board growth of 6%-9%, the highest in more than a decade. Year-on-year, the markets slightly increased their double-digit growth rates, led by the Asia-Pacific region and Japan (32.3% and 30.7%), with Europe (20.8%) and the Americas (13.5%) continuing to post solid gains. For the moving three-month average, Europe increased its sales growth by 5% to 24.0%, followed by the Americas (17.1%) and Japan (15.8%), while the Asia-Pacific market dipped slightly to 19.1%.