SAN FRANCISCO — After another strong month of both sequential and annual growth, semiconductor sales through the first half of 2018 were up 20% compared with the first half of 2017, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) trade group.

Second quarter chip sales totaled $117.9 billion, up 6% compared with the first quarter and up 20.5% compared with the second quarter of 2017. The three-month average of sales for June reached $39.3 billion, up 1.5% percent compared to the previous month and up 20.5% compared with June 2017, according to the SIA, which reports numbers compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization.

John Neuffer
John Neuffer

Growth of more than 20% for the first half of the year is no small achievement, particularly since 2017 semiconductor sales of $412 billion set an all-time high. The most recent WSTS forecast, released in June, calls for chip sales to increase 12.4% this year to reach $463 billion.   

“Global sales have increased year-to-year by more than 20% for 15 consecutive months, and sales of every major product category increased year-to-year in June," said John Neuffer, the SIA's president and CEO, in a press statement. "Sales into the Americas market continue to be strong, with year-to-date totals more than 30% higher than at the same point last year.”

June's chip sales were up year-over-year in all major regions, led by China (30.7%) and the Americas (26.7%). Sales were also up sequentially in all major regions except Europe, which showed a slight decline, according to the WSTS, an organization of more than 55 semiconductor vendors that pool sales data.

John Hennessy
John Hennessy

Earlier this week, the SIA announced that John Hennessy, chairman of Google parent Alphabet Inc. and a former president of Stanford University, has been named the 2018 Robert N. Noyce Award winner, the U.S. semiconductor industry's top honor.

Hennessy, a pioneer in electrical engineering and RISC architecture who co-founded MIPS Technologies in the mid-1980s, received the prestigious A.M. Turing Award from the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) last year and received the IEEE Medal of Honor in 2012. He will be presented with the Noyce Award at the SIA's annual dinner in November.

— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.