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Chip sales during the past year demonstrated robust growth, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported Monday.

The SIA, which represents over 80 percent of the United States’ semiconductor companies, said that the chip industry grew by 18.3 percent to $166.4 billion, one of the strongest years on record.

The chip market was driven by strong demand for electronic products, and a resurgence of demand following the U.S. military operations in Iraq. The industry recorded an 11 percent sequential revenue increase to $48.1 billion in the fourth quarter from $43.3 billion in the third quarter, and a 28 percent rise in year-over-year revenue in December of 2003.

“The industry’s broad, upward momentum across all product sectors and geographic markets is driving us toward another year of strong, double-digit growth, which is now expected to exceed 19% in 2004,” stated SIA president George Scalise, in a statement. “The wireless sector continues to spearhead growth, but PC shipments also recovered in 2003 to an 11% unit volume increase. We are experiencing a virtual revolution in global consumer markets as consumers adopt new technology and multi-functional smart devices such as camera phones, PDA’s and DVD’s.”

The SIA also provided more detailed numbers for the fourth quarter, for each of the semiconductor segments the agency tracks. DRAM sales climbed 10.6 percent, while microprocessor revenue climbed 7.9 percent. Wireless revenues also grew strongly, as wireless DSP sales increased by 11.6 percent, and sales for the flash components built into cell phones and other wireless devices growing 29.3 percent. Programmable logic devices (PLDs) fared even better, jumping by 32.5 percent. Sales of optoelectronics semiconductors grew by 11.6 percent.

All geographic markets recorded rising chip sales in the final quarter of 2004, with sales in Europe up 14.5 percent sequentially, Japan up 10.5 percent in the quarter, sales in the Americas up 10.2 percent, and Asia Pacific revenue up 10.0 percent.