PC growth sends chip sales soaring

PC growth sends chip sales soaring

Sales boosted by healthy August performance

Global chip sales jumped a healthy 4.9 per cent in August as PC sales gathered pace for the back-to-school season and Nand prices steadied.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that sales for August topped $20.5bn (£10bn), up almost five per cent on August last year and an increase of 4.5 per cent on sales in July 2007.

PC sales have been climbing steadily in recent months with many analysts raising their annual sales expectation by a few percentage points. Coupled with the back-to-school cycle sales were strong.

“Normal seasonal patterns contributed to a healthy 4.5 per cent sequential increase in worldwide semiconductor sales in August,” said SIA president George Scalise. “August is historically the beginning of the holiday season for electronics manufacturers, which in turn drives demand for a broad range of semiconductor products.”

He added: “PC unit growth is proving to be very solid in 2007.

“Personal Computers account for approximately 40 per cent of all semiconductor sales and are growing most rapidly in emerging markets where lower-cost PCs with lower silicon content have been selling well.”

Sales of Nand Flash recorded the most striking growth, up almost 50 per cent on August 2006, thanks to tightening supplies and rising prices. The SIA also noted the growing importance of newer semiconductor markets, such as cars. In terms of processors Intel has announced it has entered into global testing for its new Wimax silicon for laptops and mobile internet devices. Codenamed Baxter Peak, the new Wimax chipset will be Intel’s first for Nokia devices, specifically the forthcoming Nseries Internet tablet, due out in 2008.

“Wimax enables the mobile internet and makes it possible to get content on a variety of new mobile devices at broadband speed.

“Our Baxter Peak solution is designed specifically for these exciting new devices,” said Raviv Melamed, general manager of Intel’s mobile wireless group.