Semi sales start to soar

While January is seasonally a slow month for semiconductor sales, compared to January 2009 semi sales have soared.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said sales this year might rise about its own forecasts, but that’s only provided the global economy is on the turn in the right direction.

The three months average of chip sales in January was $22.5 billion – normally speaking January is a slow month.

Most sectors showed an imporvement, including chips for PCs, DRAM, handset and cars – according to Bruce Diesen at Carnegie Securities Research.

He said PC chips sales showed a seasonally admusted $45 billion rate in January – a record for this sector.

The higher price of DRAM chips, aided and abetted by the introduction of Windows 7, is beginning to have an impact of margins for the PC vendors, especially Dell, said Diesen.

And sales of semis into the automotive sector showed strong growth, indicating that car manufacturing is beginning to buzz again. Except, presumably, for Toyota.

George Scalise, president of the SIA, said: “Worldwide semiconductor sales in Januaary increased significantly compared to one year ago, reflecting today’s improving business environment for the industry. January and February 2009 were the low point of the industry downturn as the semiconductor industry and electronics manufacturers quickly responded to the global economic recession.”