The three-month average of new orders for semiconductor equipment increased 26.5 percent to $1.35 billion in August compared to August 2013, according to trade association SEMI. However, bookings (new orders) for equipment were down 5 percent compared to July.
The trade group said that equipment shipments also increased 19.5 percent to $1.29 billion in August compared to $1.08 billion in August 2013. Shipments (billings) were down 2 percent compared to July 2013.
The equipment book-to-bill ratio in August was 1.04, according to SEMI. A ratio of 1.04 means that equipment manufacturers received $104 in new orders for every of $100 of orders that they shipped.
“The SEMI book-to-bill ratio has been at or above parity for 11 consecutive months and both current month bookings and billings continue to trend well above 2013 levels,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. He added that strong equipment spending growth is occurring “across the fab and test and assembly segments.”
The nearly 20 percent increase in equipment shipments in August is in line with the forecasted annual growth rate that SEMI has projected for 2014. SEMI has forecast that the total semiconductor equipment market will grow 20.8 percent in 2014 to $38.4 billion and rise another 10.8 percent in 2015 to $42.6 billion.
Semiconductor foundries and logic fabs are driving sales for chip equipment as chipmakers invest in 20nm technology. Memory IC makers are buying equipment for 3D NAND chips and for technology upgrades for mobile DRAM. Chipmakers are also investing in advanced packaging capacity for chip-chip, wafer bumping and wafer level packaging.
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