Worldwide chip sales totaled $12.1 billion, a 2.6 percent increase from.
Sales increased in all areas of the world, except in the Americas, where they fell by a tiny margin of 0.3 percent, the SIA reported.
"A number of the products that were weak in February reversed course, showing renewed demand in March," George Scalise, the SIA's president said in a statement.
Some of the categories showing sales growth in March include PC processors, up 5.9 percent; and digital signal processors and flash memory sales, which each grew by 2 percent, the SIA said.
For the first quarter of the year, the worldwide chip market finished with sales of $36.4 billion, a 3.2 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2002. But sales increased by 13 percent when measured on a year-over-year basis from the first quarter of 2002, which posted $32.2 billion in revenue, the SIA said.
Looking ahead, the SIA is optimistic.
The firm expects the market to see double-digit revenue growth for 2003, Scalise said.
The SIA believes that as the economy improves, revenue from PC processors and chips that go into cellular phones and wireless networks will increase.
The SIA uses a three-month moving average to account for differences in companies' financial reporting calendars when compiling its monthly figures.