June 2, 2006 – Worldwide sales of semiconductors slid just a fraction in April to $19.6 billion, representing 8.1% year-on-year growth that slightly exceeded expectations, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Sales of microprocessors declined 6.1% sequentially but were up nominally from a year ago, thanks to continued strength in the PC end market, where unit sales are running 13%-15% ahead of last year’s pace, noted SIA president George Scalise. End market demand also helped boost DRAM sales, which grew by 3.7% sequentially and nearly 8% year-on-year.
Healthy sales of wireless handsets during the month spurred growth in analog (23% Y-Y) and digital signal processors (16.1%), as well as NOR flash and optoelectronic devices, noted Scalise. The analog segment also benefited from demand for medical applications and industrial electronics such as process control devices. NAND flash sales declined by 11.7% from March levels, but were up 25% from a year ago, due to MP3 players which continue to be a hot consumer item, with sales growth continuing at 50%/year. Application-specific devices for automotive and wired communications applications also showed double-digit year-on-year sales increases.
Scalise noted that so far the overall semiconductor market continues to keep pace slightly ahead of the group’s forecast issued in November, which called for 7.9% growth. The SIA will issue an updated forecast in a few days.