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January dip in chip sales due to seasonal decline

Posted: 07 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Semiconductor Industry Association? Microsoft Vista OS? DRAM? global semiconductor sales? chip sales?

Semiconductor sales in January hit $21.47 billion, up 9.2 percent from a year-ago period, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). However, this represents a seasonal decline of 1.2 percent from the $21.74 billion reported in December.

"January semiconductor sales reflected historical seasonal patterns, with strong year-on-year (y-o-y) sales growth coupled with a modest sales sequential decline," said SIA president George Scalise.

The figures were in line with predictions released last week by Bruce Diesen, an analyst with Terra Securities ASA, who suggested the three-month average of global chip sales went down to $21.65 billion in January from $21.75 billion in December.

The SIA figures show the three-month average of global semiconductor sales, the average of the actual sales in November, December and January, reached $21.47 billion in January 2007, down by 2.3 percent from the $21.97 billion three-month average for August to October 2006.

Referring to the mobile phones sector, Scalise said concerns about inventories in the previous quarter appear to have worked themselves out, and the forecast for unit growth in the range of 10-15 percent for 2007 appears to be realistic. "The average semiconductor content of a cellphone is approximately $40 per unit, driving more than $40 billion of semiconductor demand," Scalise added.

The average price of both desktop and laptop computer systems declined by more than 9 percent in 2006, even as the speed and functionality of these systems was enhanced by more powerful chips, noted Scalise. "Purchasers of PCs continue to reap large benefits from the steady decline in prices of semiconductors achieved through advances in technology."

Scalise added sales of DRAMs led the industry both in total sales and in y-o-y growth in January. With $3.6 billion in sales in January, DRAM revenues were up 72 percent y-o-y and 2.3 percent sequentially. "The introduction of the Microsoft Vista OS, which requires substantial additional memory, may have contributed to the increase in demand."

- John Walko
EE Times




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