EL SEGUNDO, CA—According to a report by iSuppli Corp.'s Gary Grandbois, iSuppli predicts that global semiconductor sales will rise to $255.7 billion in 2006, up 7.8 percent from $237.2 billion in 2005. The previous forecast, issued in June, predicted that global semiconductor sales would grow by 7.9 percent in 2006. The figure presents iSuppli's forecast for global semiconductor revenue.

The PC and mobile-phone markets, the major drivers of semiconductor sales during the past two years, have remained healthy in 2006. The data-processing equipment segment, which is dominated by PCs, will experience global revenue growth of 7.3 percent in 2006, predicts iSuppli. Meanwhile, the wireless-communications gear area, which is heavily influenced by mobile phones, is expected to achieve a revenue expansion of 5.2 percent for the year.

The PC market has shown some signs of slowing in 2006, which has prompted iSuppli to trim its growth forecast for the year compared to their previous prediction of a 9.3-percent increase. Although mobile-phone Average Selling Prices (ASPs) are falling rapidly, strong unit demand has prompted iSuppli to raise its 2006 wirelesscommunications growth forecast from 4.6 percent previously.

Regardless of these alterations to the forecast, both the PC and mobile-phone areas are maintaining their momentum in 2006, keeping semiconductor shipments at a higher level than they were in the second half of 2005.