The industry group reports that world sales of semiconductors totalled USD11.07 billion in April 2002, a 3.1 percent increase from the USD10.73 billion level reached in March. Year-to-year sales fell by 19.4 percent in April, the smallest decline since June last year.
This is the second month in a row that global chip sales have increased across Europe, the Americas, Japan and the Asia-Pacific region.
SIA president George Scalise said April's growth was led by an increase in sales in the wireless sector. "Semiconductor sales in April are continuing the steady growth exhibited in the first quarter of this year, another sign that the industry is rebounding from 2001. We expect the modest growth we are experiencing in the first half of the year to continue throughout the remainder of 2002."
Japanese chipmakers also reported a 20 percent rise in global sales in April, the second consecutive monthly rise after 14 straight months of decline, the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan said on Thursday.
Hitachi Ltd., Japan's third-largest chipmaker, said it plans to resume chip production at a plant near Tokyo to meet an anticipated recovery in global demand for semiconductors. Hitachi plans to make 9 million chips for use in personal computers in the period April to September, up from 6.5 million chips made in the previous six months.
The group said the 25.8 percent decline in European sales was less than Japan and the Americas.
Scalise has said semiconductor sales are projected to return to their historical growth rate this year. The association points to the growth path for the industry's technology, which is expected to lead to single chips which run at 10Ghz and contain more than 1 billion transistors within the next eight years.
Scalise said the speed of these next-generation chips will enable a catalogue of "breakthrough" applications, from effective telecommuting and distance learning to instantaneous translation which will let people speaking different languages communicate in real time.