In July, chips bursting out all over

Signs of a recovery in the important semiconductor market continued in July, with the WSTS reporting improvements on a number of chip fronts.

The rolling July three month average of semi sales worldwide amounted to $18.2 billion, which is still down 18 percent compared to the same period last year. But, said Bruce Diesen, senior analyst at Carnegie Securities Research, seasonally adjusted sales amounted to a plus of 15 percent month on month, and that’s one of the biggest monthly jumps in 10 years.

Last week Intel said that sales in its financial quarter would be better than expected and figures from the WSTS point to sales of memory chips, PCs and automotive chips improving the most.

Diesen said that he expected an overall 14 percent drop in world semi dollar sales during 2008 and chips for cars will show the biggest improvement in the third quarter.

NAND flash production and sales showed a big jump with a number of cellphones using this type of memory being released during the third calendar quarter. The mix of microprocessors for PCs improved sharply versus June, said Diesen.

DRAM, down in the doldrums now for several years, also showed improvement in July, sending signs of succor to the hard hit manufacturers.

Acceleration and yaw rate sensor semiconductors showed a serious move upwards, fueled by continuing good sales of the Apple iPhone and the me-too cellphone manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon.

Sales of LCD TVs continued on a high spurred by the US’ rapid move to digitalization and the rural stimulus program in China. Glass substrates continue to be in short supply, due to earthquake damage to a Corning plant in Japan.

Here’s how microprocessor sales fared in July – they’re used not only in PCs of course, but in the automotive and industrial sectors.