The popularity of consumer gadgets such as cell phones and digital cameras, combined with a drop in the average price of notebook computers to under $1,000, helped fuel the growth, according to SIAs Global Sales Report, released July 3.
"Strong growth in sales of NOR flash memory products and optoelectronic devices are indicators of continued growth in sales of digital cameras and cell phones," said George Scalise, president of the SIA, based in San Jose, Calif.
"Unit sales of personal computers have continued to run ahead of expectations, contributing to 13.7 percent year-on-year growth in sales of DRAMs [dynamic RAMs]," Scalise added in the statement.
In response to the recent growth, the SIA has increased predictions for 2006 global sales, from 7.9 percent to 9.8 percent.
"We expect to see global semiconductor sales running 9 to 10 percent ahead of last years pace for the next several months. End market demand, inventory levels and capacity utilization all indicate generally favorable conditions for the industry," Scalise said.
In May 2005, semiconductor sales were $18.1 billion worldwide. In 2006, sales from April to May increased from $19.6 billion to 19.7 billion, an 0.7 percent increase.