The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today reported that worldwide semiconductor sales in March were $23.1 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent from February when sales were $22.0 billion. Sales increased by 58.3 percent from March 2009 when sales were $14.6 billion. The first quarter of 2009 marked the low point in semiconductor sales during the global economic recession. Sales for the first quarter of 2010 were $69.2 billion compared to $43.7 billion for the first quarter of 2009. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average.
"Global sales of semiconductors set a new high for the month of March and were second only to the record sales reported in November 2007," said SIA President George Scalise. "Healthy demand from major end markets coupled with restocking to normal inventory levels contributed to strong first-quarter growth. While we expect that 2010 sales will continue to be strong, the year-on-year growth rate will moderate going forward, reflecting the industry recovery that began in the second half of 2009.
"Foundries and integrated device manufacturers are ramping production to bring supply into line with expected demand levels. We do not expect to see near-term issues with either excess inventories or capacity due to strong unit demand in key end markets. Computing and communications, which together account for more than 60 percent of total demand for microchips, are seeing healthy unit growth. PC unit sales are projected to grow in the mid- to high-teens, and handset growth is expected to be in the high single-digit range.
"The current results reflect improved sales in a variety of market segments, including the enterprise sector where recovery has been slower than in the consumer sector. Healthy economic growth in China and growing demand for PCs and cell phones in developing economies were major contributors to growth in the first quarter. Continued growth for the semiconductor industry is closely tied to continuation of the global economic recovery. We remain cautiously optimistic that global sales will show double-digit growth in 2010," Scalise concluded.