Global semiconductor sales reached $12.5 billion in December 2002, bringing total revenue for the year to $140.7 billion, a 1.3% increase from the 2001 level of $138.9 billion.
During the year’s final quarter, revenue rose 1.9% sequentially to $37.6 billion from $36.9 billion, following increases of 5.6%, 5.8% and 8.2% in the first three quarters of 2002, and was up 23% over the corresponding quarter of 2001.
‘The recovery that began in the final quarter of 2001 continued throughout 2002, producing 1.3% growth in this turnaround year,’ stated SIA President George Scalise.
‘This is remarkable performance, in the face of lackluster demand in the Information Technology market. We expect further improvement across broad product sectors, positioning the industry for 19.8% growth in 2003, increasing revenues to $169.3 billion.’
Throughout the year, the worldwide wireless sector recorded the most vigorous growth. Unit sales of handsets grew by double-digits in the fourth quarter, producing growth of 13.2% in Flash and 6.8% in Digital Signal Processors. New subscribers continue to set records in Asia, particularly in China, which is adding some 5 million new users each month.
PCs continue to be the single largest end market for semiconductors, accounting for 30% of total chip consumption. There is some evidence that the corporate buyer is returning to the market. Due to increased PC demand during the December quarter, microprocessors and DRAMs were up 10.1% and 7.6% respectively.
‘We expect the momentum built throughout 2002 in both cell phones and PCs to increase in 2003,’ stated Scalise. ‘As a result, for the first time since 2000, we believe IT spending on hardware will register an increase.’
The consumer sector, including DVD’s and digital cameras, continues to drive new growth, especially in Application Specific Products.
WiFi (802.11) has emerged as another brisk growth driver for semiconductors. The compound annual growth rates of WLAN IC’s expected to exceed 35% over the 2000-2005 forecast period.
Asia Pacific continues to be the world’s fastest growing market, recording a 29% increase in chip sales for the year, pushing it past the Americas as the world’s largest market, with a 36% share. For the year 2002, chip sales declined 13% in the Americas, 8% in Japan and 8% in Europe from 2001 levels, as electronic equipment production continues an unprecedented migration to facilities in the Asia Pacific region.
The SIA’s Global Sales Report (GSR) is a three-month moving average of sales activity. The GSR is tabulated by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation, which represents approximately 66 companies. The moving average is a mathematical smoothing technique that mitigates variations due to companies’ monthly financial calendars.