Chip sales dip are just a blip, says SIA

The Seminconductor Industry Association (SIA) said chip sales declined nine per cent in 2009, slipping from $248.6 billion in 2008 to $226.3 billion in 2009.

Despite the dip, "2009 turned out to be a better year for the global semiconductor industry than expected," said SIA President George Scalise.

"A strong focus on inventories throughout the supply chain mitigated the impact of the worldwide economic downturn and positioned the industry for growth as the global economy recovers," he burbled in a press release.

The SIA reckons unit sales of personal computers and mobile phones – which account for approximately 60 per cent of total semiconductor consumption – will grow in the low-to-mid teens in the coming year.

"Consumer electronics are expected to grow in the mid-single digits," Scalise said. "We are also seeing the effects of recovery in the enterprise sector and we believe this trend will continue."

The SIA expects a return to normal seasonal patterns, which suggests a modest slowdown in the first quarter and a feeding frenzy from September onwards.

China and India are driving demand, according to the association. In addition to purchasing consumer items such as handsets and computers, both regions are continuing to invest in wired and wireless infrastructure, Scalise said. These investments in infrastructure create demand for a broad range of semiconductor products.

"Advances in technology are continually enabling development of new products, such as netbook and tablet computers," said Scalise. "Attractive price points for these products are creating new market segments that hadn’t previously existed, and they are adding to overall semiconductor demand."