SAN JOSE, Calif. The three-month average of global semiconductor sales rose to $16.94 billion in April, a sequential increase of 4.1 percent from the $16.275 billion reported in March and a 36.7 percent increase from April 2003, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported Tuesday (June 1).
The results exceeded analysts' expectations. Handelsbanken Capital Markets had underestimated the chip market growth after forecasting last week a 35.3 percent year-on-year growth for the quarter.
"Worldwide semiconductor sales in April reached the highest monthly level since July 2000," said SIA president George Scalise. "Continued strong overall economic growth in the United States and China helped propel chip sales upward. The fundamentals are in place for strong growth through the remainder of the year, and it is likely that growth for 2004 will significantly surpass last fall's forecast of 19 percent growth."
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) group revised its semiconductor market annual growth figure up to 28.4 percent for 2004
Strong sales of cell phones were a major contributor to increased chip sales, especially DSPs, which were up by 6.8 percent, application-specific standard products for wireless which grew by 8.8 percent and flash memory devices which rose by 3.2 percent.
PC sales growth coupled with increasing memory content in systems helped to drive strong month-to-month growth of 10.3 percent in sales of DRAMs. Sales of image-sensing devices grew 7.6 percent sequentially on strong sales of digital still cameras and camera phones.
In addition, chip sales were up sequentially in all geographic regions, with Asia-Pacific showing very strong growth of 6.6 percent over the previous month.