SAN FRANCISCO—The three-month rolling average of global semiconductor sales fell to $22.9 billion in February, down 1.3 percent from January, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) trade group.
February chip sales were down 7.3 percent compared to February 2011, according to the SIA. In the Americas region, semiconductor sales grew 1.1 percent compared to January, SIA said.
"It's encouraging to see that the U.S. posted the third consecutive month of job gains which points to momentum in the U.S. economic recovery," said Brian Toohey, SIA president, in a statement. "However, the global picture bears close watching given the continued sluggish economies in Europe and in Asia."
Toohey said the combination of improved U.S. macroeconomic factors and the sales growth in the Americas region "warrants an optimistic view for growth in 2012."
With a continued macroeconomic recovery, SIA expects semiconductor sales to improve this year in part due to positive demand drivers across a range of end markets. As products with improved functionality in mobility, sensing and energy efficiency come to market to meet consumer and enterprise demand, semiconductor sales are expected to continue along the path of long term growth, according to SIA.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.