The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released figures on Monday that place worldwide sales of semiconductors at $78.47 billion during the first quarter of 2014 — the highest ever for that period.
Global sales reached $26.16 billion for the month of March 2014, an increase of 11.4 percent from March 2013 when sales were $23.48 billion, and a slight uptick of 0.4 percent compared to last month's total of $26.04 billion.
Regionally, sales in the Americas increased by 16.1 percent compared to last March, and year-to-year sales increased across all regions.
Year-to-year sales increased in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Japan, marking the first time in more than three years that year-to-year sales increased across all regions. Sales were up compared to the previous month in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Japan, but down slightly in the Americas.
SIA president Brian Toohey highlighted the current momentum of the global semiconductor market, but noted that a lack of innovation could pose a threat in the long term:
Although recent semiconductor sales are encouraging, one threat to the semiconductor market's continued growth and America's overall economic strength is the innovation deficit – the gap between needed and actual federal investments in research and higher education. Policymakers should act swiftly to close the innovation deficit by committing to robust and sustained investments in basic scientific research and higher education.