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Sales of semiconductors worldwide have reached an all-time monthly record of $20.5bn, according to statistics from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

The August figures also showed strength in the microprocessor segment dominated by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, with unit shipments up 5.6 per cent on the previous month.

Analysts at Bank of America said the momentum was partly driven by price-cutting by Intel and AMD over the summer “which, coupled with resumption of seasonal build for PCs, bodes well for continued growth in this segment”.

Citigroup analysts said microprocessor sales were up 16.5 per cent in the third quarter to date and the figures supported their raised estimates for Intel and AMD. They said average selling prices increased by a third in August “supporting our view that pricing has stabilised . . . and easing investor concerns of a [microprocessor] price war”.

But average selling prices were down 18 per cent on a year ago, reflecting the strong competition between Intel and AMD.

Merrill Lynch analysts pointed out that microprocessor bookings “grew an impressive 86 per cent month-on-month . . . it’s clear that August benefited from pushed-out demand from earlier in the year”.

George Scalise, SIA president, said there had been relatively strong sales across a broad range of semiconductor products, reflecting healthy end markets. Sales were up 2.1 per cent on July and 10 per cent on the $18.6bn recorded in August 2005. The previous record monthly sales were $20.4bn in November last year.

“Sales growth was led by [dynamic random access memory chips], which increased by 7.5 per cent from July and by 31.5 per cent from August 2005, an indication that PC sales remained strong,” he said.

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