June 20, 2003 - Worldwide manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted a book-to-bill ratio of 0.95 in May 2003, continuing a four-month trend of little activity in equipment purchasing, according to VLSI Research.
Equipment manufacturers posted orders of $2.35 billion and billings of $2.49 billion in May, down from April's totals of $2.51 billion and $3.32 billion. Of the total billings, $1.46 billion were for wafer processing equipment, $553 million for test and related equipment, $139 for assembly, and $334 for service and spares.
The outlook for the chipmaking industry appears to be brighter, as the three-month book-to-bill ratio rose to 1.02 in May. Worldwide bookings climbed to $10.56 billion and billings reached $10.35 billion, compared with $10.4 billion and $10.29 billion in April. Capacity utilization rate reached 87.9%, exceeding the projected rate of 82.5%, and was above 90% for 130nm and below.
VLSI also reaffirmed its 2003 end-of-year revenue forecasts for equipment manufacturers and chipmakers. Equipment revenues are projected to be $31.3 billion and IC revenues at $131.7 billion, up 5.6% and 9.3% from 2002, respectively.