Semiconductor sales are set to rise because they are being used in everything from cameras to cars, experts say.

The San Jose Semiconductor Industry Association expects global semiconductor sales to rise 29 per cent this year. Association president George Scalise told Mercury News: "The industry is experiencing substantially stronger-than- expected growth in 2004 as a result of underlying strength in a broad range of end-use markets."

The group predicts: "Sales of memory chips that store data in electronics from PCs to MP3 players will show the biggest gains. Dynamic random access memory that provides the short-term memory in PCs will grow 56 per cent to $26 billion this year. Flash memory, used to store programs in cell phones and pictures in digital cameras, will rise 49 per cent to $17.5 billion."

Bloomberg News predicts sales will reach $214 billion, exceeding 2000's $204 billion record. Intel expects to meet its highest estimates this quarter and memory-chip maker Hynix Semiconductor has forecast its first annual profit since 1999.