Chip Sales Up in Sept.

Worldwide semiconductor sales reached a new high in September as electronics manufacturers geared up for the holiday season, an industry group said Thursday.

Global chip sales totaled $21.4 billion in September, up 9.3 percent from the year-ago period and up 4.2 percent from August, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Strong demand for consumer products such as cell phones, digital music players and personal computers drove chip sales higher during the month, said George Scalise, president of the association, in a statement.

Worldwide chip sales rose 8 percent in the third quarter to $64.1 billion from $59.3 billion in the year-ago period.

Cell phone sales stayed strong, especially in India and China.

Demand for dynamic random access memory chips grew as PC manufacturers are producing systems designed for Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming Windows Vista operating system, Scalise said. September's DRAM sales grew 10 percent sequentially and 40 percent from the year-ago period, "reflecting growth in bit demand and tightening supply," he added.

The industry is "on pace" to meet SIA's midyear forecast of a 9.8 percent sales growth for 2006, Scalise said.

San Jose-based SIA has represented U.S. chip manufacturers since 1977.