February historically has been a weak month for semiconductor chip sales, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). So it's not surprising that February worldwide sales of $15.58 billion was a modest 0.2% increase over sales in January. However, notes the San Jose, Calif.-based organization, those February sales reflect 30.8% growth compared with February 2003 -- and the highest year-on-year growth rate since October 2000. "The strong year-on-year growth of more than 30% reflects the steady improvement in business conditions," says SIA President George Scalise. "While growth was largely driven by a rebound in corporate information-technology spending, the current growth cycle extends to all end markets and major product areas. The SIA noted that sales of programmable logic devices and standard cells grew by 4.3% in February, while microprocessor sales declined by 0.7%. Sales in the United States and Japan declined slightly in February, while all other regions recorded growth.