Semiconductor Industry Sets New Record

Worldwide semiconductor sales exploded to US$18.4 billion in September, showing more than 50 percent growth over the $12.6 billion mark set in September of 1999, according to a report released Monday from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Driving semiconductor sales to the new record high were Internet infrastructure and wireless technologies, not personal computers, the report said.

Chip sales were strong in all geographic regions. The Japanese market grew 51.2 percent, with the Asia/Pacific market expanding 46.6 percent, followed by the Americas market, which increased 46.2 percent, and the European market coming in with a 35.9 percent gain, according to the report.

While PC sales have been lagging behind expectations in the United States, "demand remains robust for chips used in the Internet and in telecommunications," worldwide, said George Scalise, president of the San Jose, Calif.-based SIA, in a statement.

Scalise expects the semiconductor industry to continue to grow at a rate of 21.8 percent next year, when sales will total a projected US$249 billion.

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