From its beginning in the 1950s, the semiconductor industry has been characterized by a four-year cycle, sporadically modified by unexpected economic factors. The semiconductor industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the past 40 years. However, worldwide sales of semiconductors were $10.22 billion in September, a decrease of 44.6% from $18.44 billion a year ago, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) recently reported. On a month-to-month basis, September sales were 2.5% below the August 2001 level of $10.48 billion, an improvement from the 3.5% month-to-month decline reported in the previous month. This is the third consecutive month that this number has improved.
“A broad cross-section of products grew on a unit basis during the September quarter. We expect this trend to continue in the December quarter, and with inventories coming into balance, we believe this will lead to sequential quarterly growth in sales,” stated SIA president George Scalise. He added, “Information technology products such as personal computers and wireless applications, combined with digital audio devices and other consumer products, will be the demand drivers that lead the industry into recovery.”
Compared to September 2000, September sales in the European market were lower by 41.7%, the Americas market was down 58.6%, and Asia Pacific was down 30.9%. In the Japan market, sales declined 42.7% from last September.