New semiconductor equipment bookings are now at their highest levels since the dot com boom, according to the latest book-to-bill figures from SEMI. North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted US$1.83 billion in orders in July 2010 (three-month average basis) and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.23. The bookings figure is up 5.9% from the final June 2010 level of US$1.73 billion, and is 220.4% above the US$571.8 million in orders posted in July 2009, SEMI said.
"The July report shows continued momentum in the market for new semiconductor manufacturing equipment," said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI. "While there are some questions about the semiconductor industry sustaining its strong growth trends in the second half of this year, bookings for new equipment continue to increase and are at the highest levels recorded since January 2001.”
The three-month average of worldwide billings in July 2010 was US$1.49 billion. The billings figure is up 1.8% from the final June 2010 level of US$1.47 billion, and is 177.6% above the July 2009 billings level of US$538.0 million.
According to market research firms memory manufacturers and foundries are driving the latest capital spending wave, primarily with technology upgrades and only limited capacity expansions due to the lack of cleanroom space after several years of limited fab construction.