Global chip sales show September growth

November 01, 2011 // By Peter Clarke
The Japanese recovery and continued demand for mobile personal electronics helped the three-month average of worldwide sales of semiconductors in September reach $25.76 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association quoting figures compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization.

The figures were better than had been expected after poor sales in July and a slight up tick in August. They allowed the third quarter actual sales to show a 2.1 percent increase over the second quarter, the SIA said.

Although the sequential growth was welcomed by the SIA it is below what would be expected in a normal year. Over the previous ten years the third quarter has been the strongest growth quarter in the year averaging about an 8 percent sequential increase.

The global chip sales figures were also better than had been experienced in the foundry chip market where Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., (Hsinchu, Taiwan) turned in a sequential Q3 decline of 3.6 percent.

On a year-to-date basis 2011 global chip sales to September are up 2.2 percent on 2010 the SIA said.

"September's global sales demonstrate an optimistic close to the third quarter," said Brian Toohey, president of the SIA, in a statement. "While global economic uncertainty creates limited visibility for the remainder of the year, recent positive indicators and developments in the U.S. and Europe are encouraging."

Japan's averaged sales for September were $3.80 billion. As this is the average of July, August and September, multiplying the figure by three gives the 3Q11 actual sales for Japan and this was a 13.7 percent sequential increase, the SIA said, driven by the efforts in recovery from a poor 2Q11 in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

Meanwhile demand remained strong for automotive electronics, smartphones, tablet computers and e-reader devices, the SIA said.

The SIA and the European Semiconductor Industry Association publish monthly data as three-month-average figures. This makes the sales of any given month the average of the sales for that month and the previous two months. The SIA and ESIA prefer to present this data as it smoothes out the actual data that usually show troughs at the beginnings