June 2, 2004 – April proved true to its historical roots as a strong month for the industry, as worldwide chip sales continued to venture into territory not seen in four years, according to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Worldwide chip sales (a three-month moving average) rose 4.1% to $16.94 billion in April, the highest monthly level since January 2000, up from $15.55 billion in March and $12.40 billion in April 2003. Year-on-year, sales growth topped 30% (now at 36.6%) for the third month running. Actual April sales were $15.82 billion, compared with $19.23 billion in March and $11.24 billion a year ago.
Strong sales of cell phones were credited with an increase in digital-signal processors (up 6.8% during the month), application-specific standard products (8.8%), and flash memory devices (3.2%). PC sales growth, and an increasing amount of memory in each system, drove a 10.3% increase in DRAM sales. Image-sensing devices were up 7.6% thanks to sales of digital cameras and camera phones.
Geographically, sales increased sequentially by 4.1% overall, led by the Asia-Pacific region at 6.7%. Year-on-year, every region showed growth of at least 26%, paced again by the Asia-Pacific (52%).
“Continued strong overall economic growth in the United States and China helped propel chip sales upward,” stated SIA president George Scalise. He reiterated the SIA’s projection of continued strong growth through the rest of the year, and the likelihood that it will “significantly surpass last fall’s forecast of 19% growth.”