Flatline: Chip sales unchanged in October, says SIA

December 7, 2010 – Worldwide semiconductor sales were flat in October vs. September at ~$26M according to the SIA’s latest monthly data, but are still on pace to meet the group’s >32% growth rate for the year, assuming November and December are flat as well.

Chip sales continue to slow to a crawl as they have for the past few months. "As expected, we are experiencing moderation in sequential sales growth rates in line with seasonal patterns, a trend that will likely continue through year end," said SIA president Brian Toohey, in a statement.

Compared with a year ago, chip sales growth no longer seems outrageously high: just under 20% overall, ~30% for the Americas and not even 13% in Japan.

Credit Suisse’s John Pitzer crunched the y/y comparisons for chip technology categories: DRAM is having the best year of any so far (48% higher)s, followed by discretes (19%); DSPs (7%) and MPUs (9%) are seeing the least growth. For ASIC end-markets, comms-wireline (28%) and industrials (26%) are leading the way, with computer (4%) and comms-wireless (11%) on bottom.

The SIA’s year-end forecast update tweaked growth expectations for 2010 up to 32.8%, totaling $300.5B. With two months to go in the year, chip sales are at $248.2B (currently 37% higher than Jan-Oct 2009) — meaning Nov. and Dec. need to come up with $52.3B among them (about $26B each month) to coast into the SIA’s outlook. The past two months have been right around that $26M figure, though, so that seems doable.


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