Worldwide sales of semiconductors rose to $166.4 billion in 2003, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). This is an 18.3 percent increase from the $140.8 billion recorded in 2002. The industry's performance in the second half of 2003 is one of the strongest on record.
The wireless sector continues to spearhead growth, increasing 16 percent in 2003 — doubling initial forecasts. PC sales were also a major contributor in the fourth quarter, with DRAM revenue up 10.6 percent and microprocessors up 7.9 percent.
Capacity ulitization exceeded 95 percent in the fourth quarter, propelled by strong seasonal demand, and is expected to trend modestly down in the first quarter of 2004.
The three-month average of worldwide bookings in December 2003 was $1.1 billion, reports Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI). This bookings figure is 19 percent above the revised November 2003 level of $923 million, and 33 percent above the $878 million in orders posted in December 2002.
In December 2003, the three-month average of worldwide billings was $918 million. This billings figure is 5 percent above the revised November 2003 level of $876 million, and 5 percent below the December 2002 level of $976 million.