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Chip sales continue to grow, industry group says

Chip sales continue to grow, industry group says

The global semiconductor industry reached its highest sales in almost three and a half years last May, and is on track to post strong growth throughout the rest of the year, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said in its latest forecast.

Worldwide sales of semiconductors rose to US$17.32 billion in May, an increase of 2.1 percent over the $16.97 billion reported in April, the trade group said Friday. According to the SIA, May is traditionally a strong month for the industry, though on a year-over-year comparison, chips sales grew by 36.9 percent over May 2003.

Sales of optoelectronics devices, digital signal processors and application-specific standard products were especially strong in May, due in part to the popularity of mobile phones with enhanced display, imaging and data capabilities, the SIA said.

Also taking an upward trend was overall factory utilization, posting 94 percent in the first quarter of 2004 compared to 92 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003, the SIA said.

On a regional basis, only Europe showed a decline in semiconductor sales for the month, with May sales of $3.18 billion, down 1.2 percent compared to April. On the plus side, the region saw year-on-year growth of 29.1 percent when it posted sales of $2.47 billion.

Asia-Pacific posted the strongest growth in the month with sales of $7.21 billion, up 4.5 percent sequentially and 54.2 percent when compared year-on-year, the SIA said.

May chip sales in the Americas grew by 0.2 percent from $3.19 billion in April to $3.20 billion in May, and 26.5 percent year-on-year when sales were $2.53 billion, the SIA said.


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