February may be a historically weak period for chip sales, but compared with recent history February 2004 proved to be a wild success.
Worldwide chip sales in February (a three-month moving average) rose 0.2% from January to $15.58 billion, up nearly 31% from a year ago, according to data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). That’s the highest year-on-year gain since October 2000.
A rebound in corporate IT spending drove the growth, which extended to all end markets and major product areas, according to SIA president George Scalise. In particular, increased demand for wireline communications boosted sales of programmable logic devices and standard cells by 4.3%. Microprocessor sales were down 0.7%, reflecting a typically slow period for PC sales. Overall, February shipments actually trailed consumption, as chipmakers remain cautious about inventories, Scalise said.
Sales in the US and Japan dipped slightly month-on-month, offset by increases in other geographic regions. Year-on-year, every region showed at least 20% growth, paced by Asia-Pacific at nearly 43%.