Semiconductor Sales Jump 46.7 Percent in May: SIA

Sales of semiconductors grew to $24.7 billion in May, a 4.5 percent increase over April and a 47.6 percent jump over May 2009, when the recession was hitting hard. Demand came from various sectors, including PCs, cell phones and corporate IT, according to the SIA.

The semiconductor industry is continuing its uphill climb, according to market numbers released July 6.

SIA (Semiconductor Industry Association) announced that sales in May grew to $24.7 billion, a 4.5 percent increase over April-when sales were $23.6 billion-and a 47.6 percent hike over the $16.7 billion in May 2009, when the worldwide recession was still in full force.

The numbers also indicate that the industry is on pace to reach the targets of 28.4 percent grow-to sales of $290.5 billion-for 2010, according to SIA President George Scalise.

Multiple sectors are driving that upward trend.

"Chip sales have been buoyed by strength in sales of personal computers, cell phones, corporate information technology, industrial applications, and autos," Scalise said in a statement. "Emerging markets, including China and India, are fueling sales of computation and communications products. The automotive market is also slowly recovering after several years of weak sales. Demand from the corporate information technology and industrial sectors that had pushed out replacement cycles during the global economic recession is beginning to come back."

He said that unit sales of PCs should climb 20 percent this year over 2009, with cell phone unit sales increasing 10 to 12 percent.

The organization expects that year-over-year and sequential growth rates will begin to slow. Much of the marked increases are due to the fact that monthly numbers for this year were compared to months from last year when the recession was driving down demand in almost all sectors of the IT industry.

The numbers in the second half of 2010 will be compared with those during the same timeframe last year, when the tech industry saw its recovery beginning to gain momentum.

Still, there are other issues looming that could impact the semiconductor industry, Scalise said.

"Growing concerns about issues such as government debt, declining consumer confidence and pressures on government spending do not appear to have affected worldwide semiconductor sales to date, but given the semiconductor industry's growing sensitivity to macroeconomic conditions these issues bear watching in the second half of 2010," he said.