November chip sales rise 11.3 percent

Global semiconductor sales for November rose by 11.3 percent, thanks to holiday sales of consumer electronics

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

Global semiconductor sales reached US$22.7 billion (AUD$28.8 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, SIA President George Scalise said in a release. But sales of flat-panel displays and digital cameras were higher than predicted. Digital camera sales alone were up 30 percent in the U.S. 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 U.S., 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 percent over November 2005) and Japan (up 13 percent), while growth reached just 6.5 percent for the Americas and 4.3 percent in Europe, SIA said.

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