Chip sales reach a new high for May, SIA says

Worldwide chip sales for May reached an all-time high, growing by 47% compared to the same month last year, the Semiconductor Industry Association said in a study released today.

Semiconductor sales in May totaled $23.6 billion, compared with $16.7 billion last year, buoyed by strong sales of PCs, cell phones and automobiles, the SIA said.

The semiconductor industry makes components for sectors that include technology, automotive and medical industries. The growth comes after a depressed market and reduced demand for products slowed down semiconductor sales last year.

Consumer confidence is rising as economies recover from the recession and demand for semiconductors is robust, said George Scalise, president of SIA, in a statement.

The automotive market is slowly recovering after enduring several year of weak sales, while corporate IT and industrial demand is up as companies return to replacement cycles they had put off during the recession, he said.

Emerging markets such as China and India are driving sales of technology products, Scalise said.

Chip makers such as Samsung and Intel have benefited from the growing semiconductor sales. In April, Intel said it had record microprocessor sales during the first fiscal quarter, driven primarily by increased PC shipments.

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to grow by 19.8% this year compared to 2009, while mobile phone shipments are expected to grow by 11%, according to IDC.

The SIA is predicting semiconductor sales to total around $290.5 billion this year, growing by 28.4% compared to 2009.

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