SAN JOSE, Calif. " The IC recovery continues to pick up steam. Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $14.4 billion in September, up 6.5 percent from $13.6 billion in August, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
The September figure " the strongest percentage change since 1990 " was the seventh consecutive monthly increase. It also propelled total revenue to $43.3 billion in the third quarter of 2003, a 17.5 percent increase over the third quarter of 2002, and a 13.7 percent sequential rise over the second quarter of this year, SIA said.
"September and third quarter data confirm that demand in the global semiconductor market is rising briskly," SIA President George Scalise, said in a statement. "Performance is strong in all major market sectors " computation, communications and consumer, indicating a solid, continuing and broad-based growth cycle."
PCs were the driver in the third quarter, producing a 33.2 percent rise in DRAMs and a 23.9 percent jump in microprocessors. "The better than expected 7.2 percent rise in GDP for the third quarter," Scalise said, "was driven by a combination of a record 6.6 percent increase in consumer outlays, and strong business spending, as investment in computers and software rose 15.4 percent, after an 8.3 percent gain in the year's second quarter."
Flash grew 27.2 percent and DSPs were up 20.3 percent in the third quarter, driven by strong growth in cellphones, which account for 12 percent of end-market demand. The consumer sector, some 17 percent of the market, is expanding across the globe with new applications and multifunctional devices. Optoelectronics were up 14.6 percent and application specific standardized products were up 17.2 percent this quarter.
In the September quarter, sales in Asia Pacific rose 19.1 percent, Europe was up 12.0 percent, Japan up 11.0 percent and the Americas 8.6 percent over the July quarter this year. "Solid growth across all four geographic markets positions the industry for revenue growth exceeding 10 percent in 2003, followed by stronger double-digit growth in 2004," said Scalise.