Global semiconductor sales increase 13.7% to $468.8 billion in 2018

Feb. 5, 2019
Industry posts highest-ever annual sales and ships 1 trillion units for first time in 2018, but growth slowed during second half of year
WASHINGTON, DC—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research, on Monday announced the global semiconductor industry posted sales of $468.8 billion in 2018, the industry's highest-ever annual total and an increase of 13.7% compared to the 2017 total. Global sales for the month of December 2018 reached $38.2 billion, a slight increase of 0.6% over the December 2017 total, but down 7.0% compared to the total from November 2018. Fourth-quarter sales of $114.7 billion were 0.6% higher than the total from the fourth quarter of 2017, but 8.2% less than the third quarter of 2018. All monthly sales numbers are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average.

"Global demand for semiconductors reached a new high in 2018, with annual sales hitting a high-water mark and total units shipped topping 1 trillion for the first time," said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. "Market growth slowed during the second half of 2018, but the long-term outlook remains strong. Semiconductors continue to make the world around us smarter and more connected, and a range of budding technologies—artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, among many others—hold tremendous promise for future growth."

Several semiconductor product segments stood out in 2018. Memory was the largest semiconductor category by sales with $158.0 billion in 2018, and the fastest growing, with sales increasing 27.4%. Within the memory category, sales of DRAM products increased 36.4 percent and sales of NAND flash products increased 14.8%. Logic ($109.3 billion) and micro-ICs ($67.2 billion)—a category that includes microprocessors—rounded out the top three product categories in terms of total sales. Other fast-growing product categories in 2018 included power transistors (14.4% growth/total sales of $14.4 billion) and analog products (10.8% growth/total sales of $58.8 billion). Even without sales of memory products, sales of all other products combined increased by nearly 8% in 2018.   

Annual sales increased substantially across all regions: China (20.5%), the Americas (16.4%), Europe (12.1%), Japan (9.2%), and Asia Pacific/All Other (6.1%). For the month of December 2018, year-to-year sales increased in China (5.8%), Europe (2.8%), and Japan (2.3%), but fell in Asia Pacific/All Other (-0.7%) and the Americas (-6.2%). Sales in December 2018 were down compared to November 2018 across all regions: Japan (-2.2%), Asia Pacific/All Other (-3.1%), Europe (-4.9 percent), China (-8.1%), and the Americas (-12.4%).

"A strong semiconductor industry is critical to America's economic strength, national security, and global technology leadership," said Neuffer. "We urge Congress and the Trump Administration to enact polices in 2019 that promote continued growth and innovation, including robust investments for basic scientific research, long-overdue high-skilled immigration reforms, and initiatives that promote free and open trade, such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We look forward to working with policymakers in the year ahead to further strengthen the semiconductor industry, the broader tech sector, and our economy."

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