TSMC's chip sales hit all-time high

The chip sector continues to surge as TSMC, the world's largest contract chip maker, reported record high monthly chip sales in April

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip maker, on Monday reported record high chip sales for the month of April.

The figures reaffirm that the chip sector continues to surge despite debt fears in Europe and an Icelandic volcano that has spewed ash clouds over the continent, slowing delivery of some devices shipped by air.

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TSMC is considered a bellwether for the tech industry due to the wide range of chips it manufactures, which end up in products including iPads, PCs and mobile phones.

The company said consolidated sales in April rose 50.6 percent year-over-year to NT$33.8 billion (US$1.07 billion), beating its previous monthly record of NT$32.6 billion from October, 2007.

Its consolidated sales in the January through April period more than doubled to NT$126.0 billion.

The global chip industry has been stronger than most analysts expected so far this year.

Last week, El Segundo, California market researcher iSuppli said the chip industry is set for its highest annual growth in a decade this year. Sales in the industry will grow 30.6 percent to an all-time high of US$300.3 billion in 2010, up from $229.9 billion last year. The previous annual sales record was $274 billion in 2007.

The last time chip sales expanded at such a pace was in 2000, when sales grew at a 36.7 percent clip, iSuppli said.

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