Strong consumer demand will push up global sales of semiconductors by nearly 10 percent for 2006, an industry association reported on Thursday.

Semiconductor sales are projected to reach $248.8 billion in 2006, an increase of 9.4 percent for the year, the Semiconductor Industry Association said on Thursday. The growth is driven by a broad range of electronic products.

Traditional consumer electronics products, such as digital cameras, digital televisions, and MP3 player players now account for nearly 20 percent of all semiconductor consumption, said SIA president George Scalise.

The newest, most advanced consumer electronics products tend to have high semiconductor content. Consumers are also the principal buyers of cell phones which drive another 20 percent of semiconductor sales.

The demand will also help spur growth over the next 2 years as well, with 2007 seeing an increase of 10 percent to $273.8 billion, and 2008 seeing 10.8 percent growth to $303.4 billion in 2008.

Total worldwide microchip sales in 2005 were $227.5 billion.