Semiconductor exchange traded funds, such as the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEArca: SMH) and the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NasdaqGM: SOXX), have been impressive performers this year as the technology sector is the best-performing group in the U.S.

Still, investors could be paying up for future catalysts for semiconductor and broader technology names. If there is a silver lining for the rising valuations on chip stocks it is that some industry observers believe the group’s valuations should not be measured in the traditional sense because of the evolution of the semiconductor business.

“You see a decisive breakout from a frustrating sideways trading range,” said Evercore ISI’s Rich Ross in an interview with CNBC. “Other semiconductors in the SMH ETF and the SOXX Index have soared up over 25 percent year to date, but Intel’s just starting to come into its own.”

For more information on the tech sector, visit our technology category.

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of QQQ, Apple and Facebook.