The book-to-bill ratio for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers, such as Applied Materials Inc, had remained above one for almost a year as of last month, indicating sustainable demand for semiconductor equipment this year, industry association SEMI said yesterday.
The three-month average of worldwide bookings shrank 5 percent to US$1.35 billion last month from July, while the three-month average of worldwide billings fell 2 percent to US$1.29 billion in the same period, SEMI said.
That brought the book-to-bill ratio to 1.04 last month, declining from 1.07 in July, it said.
A book-to-bill ratio of 1.04 means that US$104 worth of orders were received for every US$100 of product billed during the month. The ratio is used as an indicator for the outlook of future market in the semiconductor industry, with a ratio of above 1 implying more optimistic future outlook.
“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,” SEMI chief executive officer Denny McGuirk said in a statement.
“Strong equipment spending growth for the year is observed across the fab, testing and assembly segments,” he said.
Global semiconductor equipment spending is expected to grow 20.8 percent annually to US$38.4 billion this year, with the largest spending from Taiwan, at US$11.57 billion, SEMI said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the world’s top contract chipmaker, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (日月光半導體) and Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密) all budgeted record-high spending this year at US$10 billion, US$950 million and NT$18 billion (US$595 million) respectively.
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