Worldwide sales of semiconductors surged 47.6 percent in May compared to the same period a year earlier as consumers got behind Windows 7 and corporations opened up their budgets to refresh computers.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported Tuesday that worldwide chip sales reached $24.7 billion in May, compared to $16.7 billion in the same month last year. That was up 4.5 percent from April, when sales reached $23.6 billion.
“Global sales of semiconductors in May reached a new high and remain on pace to reach the SIA forecast of 28.4 percent growth to $290.5 billion in 2010,” SIA president George Scalise said. “Chip sales have been buoyed by strength in sales of personal computers, cell phones, corporate information technology, industrial applications, and autos.”
Scalise said unit sales of personal computers appear to be on target to grow 20 percent this year and cellphone unit sales are forecast to rise 10 percent to 12 percent above 2009 levels.
Emerging markets, particularly China and India, appear to be fueling the increased demand. The automotive market has also been a positive contributor after years of weak sales and the increasing use of electronic components in vehicle manufacture.
SIA noted that the year-on-year and monthly sequential growth rates are likely to slow during the second half of 2010. “Recent chip sales have shown robust demand, but the year-on-year growth rates also underscore the very depressed market conditions of the first half of 2009,” Scalise added. “Going forward, the year-on-year growth comparisons will reflect the industry recovery that gained momentum in the second half of last year.”
Corporations and industrial sectors that pushed backed computer replacement cycles during the recession appear to be getting their programs back on track. The SIA also noted that current issues such as government debt, declining consumer confidence, and pressures on government spending have not yet affected worldwide demand.
However, the association says the industry may not yet be clear of trouble. “\Given the semiconductor industry’s growing sensitivity to macroeconomic conditions, these issues bear watching in the second half of 2010,” Scalise said.
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