The book-to-bill ratio for North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment dropped for the second straight month last month, but the ratio remained at a healthy level of more than one — meaning that new order growth outpaced billings — the global semiconductor industry association SEMI said on Friday.
The three-month average for global new orders rose 0.63 percent month-on-month to US$1.61 billion last month, its strongest level in 12 months. Billings increased 5.3 percent to US$1.54 billion last month from April’s US$1.46 billion.
That brought the book-to-bill ratio to 1.05 last month, down from 1.1 in April. A book-to-bill ration of 1.05 means that US$105 worth of orders were received for every US$100 of products billed for the month.
Since February, new orders have been growing faster than billings, bringing the ratio back to a healthy level of 1.01 percent, -having remained below one for since September 2010 amid weak demand.
“Worldwide orders for new semiconductor equipment from North American-based manufacturers have continued to increase over the past year as chip makers add capacity and process technology to meet demand driven by mobile products, smart phones and tablets,” SEMI president and CEO Denny McGuirk said in a statement on Friday.
“Bookings are at the highest levels since May 2011 and this is the fourth consecutive month that new orders have outpaced billings,” he added.
That indicated that the outlook for the global semiconductor equipment market remained optimistic, SEMI said.
The global semiconductor industry is expected to grow at a minimum annual rate of 2 percent by revenue, Morris Chang (張忠謀), chairman and chief executive of the world’s top contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), forecast in April.