May 3, 2010 / 11:27 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Global chip sales up 4.6 pct in March vs Feb - SIA

* SIA: global sales could show double-digit growth in 2010

* SIA: Foundries ramp production in line with demand

May 3 (Reuters) - Worldwide semiconductor sales in March rose 4.6 percent from February to $23.1 billion, driven by strong demand in the computing and communications markets, the Semiconductor Industry Association said.

SIA said it remained cautiously optimistic that global sales will show double-digit growth in 2010.

PC unit sales are projected to grow in the mid- to high-teens, and handset growth is expected to be in the high single-digit range, SIA said. Computing and communications account for more than 60 percent of total demand for microchips.

First-quarter sales were $69.2 billion, compared with $43.7 billion for the first quarter of 2009, which marked the low point in semiconductor sales during the global economic recession.

The numbers show the strength of the ongoing recovery in the chip market, where there is concern about excess semiconductor supply.

“Foundries and integrated device manufacturers are ramping production to bring supply into line with expected demand levels,” SIA President George Scalise said in a statement.

“We do not expect to see near-term issues with either excess inventories or capacity due to strong unit demand in key end markets,” he added.

Major chipmakers include Intel Corp (INTC.O), Advanced Micro Devices AMD.N, ASML (ASML.AS), Texas Instruments TXN.N, National Semiconductor Corp NSM.N, Qualcomm (QCOM.O), Broadcom BRCM.O, Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (2330.TW), Samsung Electronics Co (005930.KS) and Hynix Semiconductor (000660.KS).

Most of them have posted strong first-quarter results. (Reporting by S. John Tilak in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)

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