From Wallace Witkowski
: Global sales of semiconductors reached a record high in 2018, reaching a trillion chips sold for the first time, even as growth tapered off in the second half of the year, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association on Monday. Sales of chips grew 13.7% to $468.8 billion worldwide in 2018 compared with 2017 sales. "Global demand for semiconductors reached a new high in 2018, with annual sales hitting a high-water mark and total units shipped topping 1 trillion for the first time," said John Neuffer, SIA president and chief executive, in a statement. "Market growth slowed during the second half of 2018, but the long-term outlook remains strong." The largest category of sales went to memory chips with $158 billion in sales, the fastest growing category at an increase of 27.4%, SIA said. Of those memory sales, DRAM sales products increased 36.4%, while sales of NAND flash products increased 14.8%. DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, is the type of memory commonly used in PCs and servers, while NAND chips are the flash memory chips used in USB drives and smaller devices such as digital cameras. In December, Micron Technology Inc. MU, -0.98%
the largest U.S. maker of memory chips, forecast quarterly revenue that was nearly $1 billion less than Wall Street was estimating
as the industry deals with oversupply issues. Micron shares, while up 23% in 2019, are down 4% over the past 12 months, compared with an 11% year-to-date gain in the PHLX Semiconductor Index SOX, +0.05%
which is down 2.6% over the past 12 months. Compared to the broader market, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.34%
is up 7.9% for the year and down 2.1% over the past 12 months, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.91%
is up 10% for the year and up 0.9% over the past 12 months.