Worldwide chip sales soared to $69.2 billion in the first quarter of 2010, up 58.3% from $43.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, and $23.1 billion in March, up 4.6% sequentially. The staggering increase comes as both consumers and businesses return to spending on handsets, computers and more after a frugal 2009, says the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Although unemployment remains high, SIA believes the latest numbers reflect an ongoing recovery of the chip market, and that the tech sector is beginning to pull out of the global recession. Foundries and device manufacturers are ramping up production to meet demand, and SIA remains "cautiously optimistic" that 2010 will close with a double-digit sales growth.
Meanwhile, iSuppli reports that the DRAM market ended 2009 on a high note, overcoming a lackluster start to the year and achieving profitability for the first time since early 2007. The DRAM industry closed the fourth quarter at $8.7 billion, up 43% on-year. The turnaround is thanks in part to higher average selling prices, which your wallet has undoubtedly felt if you've purchased RAM recently.