SIA positive despite chip sales slide

Global semiconductor sales fell to $22.9 billion in February, down 1.3 percent from January, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

According to a statement from the SIA, February chip sales were down 7.3 per cent compared to February 2011. However, things are starting to pick up in the Americas. Semiconductor sales grew 1.1 percent compared to January.

Brian Toohey, SIA president, was encouraged that the US posted the third consecutive month of job gains which points to momentum in the US economic recovery.

The slide in chip sales was due mostly to sluggish economies in Europe and in Asia.

There are some problems with the figures. The monthly sales data reported by the SIA is compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation.

Intel and AMD stopped giving the WSTS chip sales data program and Qualcomm, Broadcom, Xilinx and Altera are not involved either. Now, the WSTS uses forecasting and estimation methods to predict the sales which we would have thought was a bit like guessing, reading Tarot cards, or asking the cat.

However, the SIA expects semiconductor sales to improve this year in part due to positive demand drivers.