November chip sales rise 11.3%

Most of the growth for chip sales in November came from buyers in the Asia-Pacific region

Strong sales of consumer electronics over the holiday period pushed worldwide semiconductor sales for November up by 11.3% over last year, a trade group reports.

Global semiconductor sales reached US$22.7 billion (NZ$32.2 billion) in November, compared to US$20.4 billion for that month in 2005, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Analysts had been concerned about a slump in the selling price of many products, and general economic sluggishness in the fourth quarter, says SIA President George Scalise in a release. But sales of flat-panel displays and digital cameras were higher than predicted. Digital camera sales alone were up 30% in the US market compared to November 2005.

The fastest growing lines of semiconductor products included DSPs (digital signal processors), DRAM (dynamic RAM) chips and NAND flash, with microprocessors lagging behind.

Sales of PCs have been slowing in recent months, forcing chip vendors to seek growth in consumer electronics and emerging markets. In the US, PC sales growth sputtered to zero growth in the third quarter of 2006, compared to that period last year, according to IDC.

Indeed, most of the growth for chip sales in November came from buyers in the Asia-Pacific region (up 15% over November 2005) and Japan (up 13%), while growth reached just 6.5% for the Americas and 4.3% in Europe, SIA says.

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