In a crawling recovery of demand, worldwide chip sales rose 17% in the second quarter reaching $51.7 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Although sales are up from $44.2 billion in the first quarter, they're still down 20% from the year-ago quarter.

With $95.9 billion in sales, figures for first half of this year are down 25% from the previous year, when sales were at $127.5 billion. That said, the association reports a month-over-month increase of 3.7% in June, with sales jumping from $16.6 billion in May to $17.2 billion. The SIA said that the fourth-consecutive monthly increase in sales is an indication of "the industry returning to normal seasonal growth patterns."

President George Scalise attributes focused supply chain management by both producers and customers with moderating the impact of the economic recession on the industry. With an optimistic outlook, he noted that the forecasts of industry analysts have improved. They foresee PC sales being in the range of -5% to flat when compared to 2008. They now say handsets will decline 7% to 9%, compared to previous predictions of a 15% drop.