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Semiconductor sales starting to rise again, reports SIA

Posted: 03 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip sales growth? chip sales SIA? semiconductor market 2007? NAND DRAM flash?

Global sales of semiconductors grew by 1 percent in March to $20.3 billion compared with the previous month, and are 3.2 percent better than the $19.7 billion reported from a year-ago period, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

The increase reverses three months of sequential declines recorded by the SIA.

The organization says price pressures resulting from intense competition in major market segments such as DRAMs, DSPs and NAND flash limited industry growth despite higher unit shipments for these products in March.

DRAM sales declined by just over 8 percent from the last quarter of 2006, reflecting strong pricing pressure as units increased over 16 percent while average selling prices (ASPs) dipped close to 20 percent over the same time period.

Microprocessor revenues declined by nearly 13 percent from the prior quarter, reflecting a decline in unit sales while ASPs remained almost unchanged.

First quarter global chip sales reached $61 billion, up 3.2 percent from the $59.1 billion reported in Q1 2006. Sales declined by 6.5 percent in Q1 2007 compared to the $65.2 billion reported for the final quarter of 2006.

"Even with continued strength in unit sales of PCs, cellphones and other portable consumer electronic products, an abundant supply of chips for these applications resulted in declining ASPs as manufacturers sought to hold onto market share," said George Scalise, SIA president.

He added, "The competitive pressures we have seen in the semiconductor industry over the past few months have led to record low prices for PCsthe ASP for a consumer PC fell to $850 in Q1."

Sales for the year so far are running slightly ahead of last year's record level, but well short of the 10 percent growth projected in the forecast issued by SIA last November. "Semiconductor sales are increasingly tied to worldwide economic performance and consumer confidence," Scalise said.

SIA plans to provide an updated industry forecast on June 13.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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