Semiconductor sales down, future demand up

The California-based Seminconductor Industry Association (SIA) released sales figures for the full year 2009 today. According to the industry group, sales declined nine percent year over year and fell from $248.6 billion in 2008 to $226.3 billion last year.

Demand surged in December by 42.2 percent in the Americas, by 15.4 percent in Europe and 42.3 percent in the Asian Pacific region. Japan fell out of the picture, sales fell by -3.3 percent, bringing average growth to a total of 28.9 percent, compared to the last month of 2008. In figures, December sales grew from $17.41 billion to $22.43 billion. As reported earlier, NAND flash refrained from doing better and performed poorly in December.

SIA’s president George Scalise was quoted as saying that China and India are driving demand for semiconductors, as the countries were investing in communications infrastructure and consumers were buying more and more mobile phones and PCs.

Growing sales in December also pointed to a broad recovery, SIA expects sales of PCs and mobile phones to rise “in the low-to-mid teens”, which will result in higher demand for semiconductors this year. “A return to normal seasonal patterns” is also expected, i.e. a flat first quarter, stronger second quarter, back-to-school sales and strong demand in the last quarter when cat, dog and human punter starts to shop from Christmas presents. Sales will also profit from new gadgets such as netbooks and tablet PCs