Semiconductor sales grew 9.4 percent year over year in May, fueled by strong demand for mobile phones and consumer electronics, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said Monday.Global chip sales rose to US$19.7 billion in May, up from $18.1 billion during the same month last year, and also up slightly from April.Healthy sales of personal computers also contributed to strong chip demand, the SIA said, pumping up dynamic RAM growth to 13.7 percent in May. But heavy demand for chips isn\u2019t driving up prices. Users are benefiting from strong competition, since the average price of a notebook computer dropped below $1,000 for the first time, the SIA noted.Chip sales should remain strong going forward. "We expect to see global semiconductor sales running\u00a0nine percent to 10 percent ahead of last year\u2019s pace for the next several months. End market demand, inventory levels, and capacity utilization all indicate generally favorable conditions for the industry," said George Scalise, president of SIA, in a statement.The industry association, which has represented chip companies since 1977, in June raised its forecast for 2006 worldwide chip sales growth to 9.8 percent from 7.9 percent.-Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service (Taipei Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.