BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Micron Technology Inc. said Thursday its profits more than doubled in the second quarter, primarily because of strong demand for its core memory chip product.

The Boise-based semiconductor manufacturer earned $183.5 million, or $1.71 per share, in the quarter ended March 2, compared with $86.8 million, or 83 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Sales rose 60 percent to $628.5 million from $390.5 million a year ago.

The performance exceeded Wall Street expectations for Micron. Analysts' forecasts ranged from $163 million to $174 million.

Like other chipmakers, Micron has been boosted by surging demand for semiconductors for use in a broad range of computing and electronic products.

The company said strong demand for 4 megabit dynamic random access memory chip allowed it to hold prices on the product. In addition, Micron reported strong growth in its PC sales.

Micron earlier this week announced plans to build a $1 billion chip factory near Salt Lake City, its first expansion from the Boise area.

For the first six months of its fiscal year, Micron earned $342.8 million, or $3.21 per share. It earned $154.3 million, or $1.48 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Six-month revenue was $1.16 billion, up from $710 million a year ago.