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Global chip sales climb in August

Worldwide sales of semiconductor chips grew for the sixth consecutive month, raising the prospects of stronger third-quarter growth, a new study shows.

Worldwide sales of semiconductor chips grew 4 percent in August, raising the prospects of stronger third-quarter growth.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced Monday that sales of semiconductor chips reached $13.4 billion in August, up from $12.9 billion the previous month. This is the sixth consecutive monthly increase, the SIA said. Year-over-year revenue increased 12.5 percent from $11.9 billion recorded in the same period a year earlier.

"With the exception of the peak year of 2000, this is the strongest monthly increase in August since 1990," SIA President George Scalise said in a statement. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region grew 6.4 percent, while the increase in Japan was just 1.6 percent. Europe posted an increase of 3.8 percent over July, and the Americas recorded a 2.5 percent increase.

The boost indicates increasing demand for computers and wireless and consumer gear, the SIA said. Sales of microprocessors were up 7.8 percent, and dynamic random access memory devices rose 11 percent. PC demand was boosted by back-to-school purchases and increased buying by businesses.

Chips used in consumer devices such as DVD players and cameras rose by 5.3 percent, while flash memory chips were up 6.9 percent since July. The SIA said demand for digital signal processors used in wireless devices was revived, after problems relating to inventories in Asia were resolved. The wireless sector posted a 4.7 percent growth.

Last month, research firm Gartner observed that chip sales are showing definitive signs of a recovery. The firm was more bullish in its forecast, saying that the worldwide semiconductor market should reach $173 billion in 2003, compared with $156 billion last year, an 11.2 percent increase. The SIA has forecast a growth of 10.1 percent for 2003.