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Chip sales hit a high mark in August

Fueled by strong demand for Internet and wireless equipment, worldwide semiconductor sales grew 53 percent and hit an industry high for the month of August, according to a new report.

    Fueled by strong demand for Internet and wireless equipment, worldwide semiconductor sales grew 53 percent and hit an industry high for the month of August, according to a new report.

    Chip sales during August reached $18.2 billion, a jump from $11.9 billion in the same period a year ago, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said in a report released today.

    The association found that sales rose in all major geographical regions. The Asia-Pacific market grew 60 percent and the Japan market grew 54 percent from the year-ago period. Chip sales in the Americas showed a 50 percent increase, while European sales jumped 46 percent.

    A number of market watchers have said that sales of PCs and wireless devices will continue to rise, fueling demand for the chips used to run them. Research firm Cahners In-Stat Group in August said semiconductor sales will total $316 billion in 2004, up from about $210 billion in 2000.

    Meanwhile, chip giant Intel recently took a beating on Wall Street after the company warned that third-quarter revenue would be lower than anticipated because of weaker demand in Europe. The chipmaker said revenue for the third quarter is likely to be only 3 percent to 5 percent higher than second-quarter revenue of $8.3 billion.

    Intel's blues, however, did not resonate throughout the industry. Following its earnings warning and stock fallout, a string of PC makers including Hewlett-Packard, Dell Computer and Compaq Computer sounded off with positive growth outlooks and declarations that business is healthy.

    Rival Advanced Micro Devices said it remains on track toward its goal of shipping 3.6 million of its Athlon and Duron processors, twice as many chips as it shipped the prior quarter.

    The SIA, whose report represents a three-month moving average of sales activity, said the industry is on track to reach forecasts of 31 percent growth for 2000. The SIA report is tabulated by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization, which embodies some 70 companies.

    The SIA said that 2000 is a "remarkable" year for semiconductors and that the industry will continue to see strong growth for chips used in consumer, Internet and communications products.