The book-to-bill ratio for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers, such as Applied Materials Inc, rebounded to 1.05 last month, indicating increasing appetite for advanced -technology equipment, semiconductor industry association SEMI said yesterday.
The book-to-bill ratio has been below the boom-or-bust threshold of one for the past two months.
A book-to-bill ratio of less than 1 indicates falling demand, while a ratio of greater than one indicates growth.
The three-month average of worldwide bookings grew 13.3 percent to US$1.12 billion, from September’s US$992.8 million, according to SEMI’s data.
The figure indicated 51.4 percent annual growth from US$742.8 million.
The three-month average of worldwide billings increased 4.9 percent to US$1.07 billion last month, from US$1.02 billion in September, and up 8.7 percent from US$985.5 million in the same period of last year, SEMI said.
“Both equipment orders and billings improved in the October data, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio returning above parity,” SEMI president and CEO Denny McGuirk said in a statement.
“Order activity is well above the figures reported one year ago and point toward ongoing investments in advanced process technologies for NAND flash, microprocessor and foundry,” he added.
The world’s biggest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), said last month that capital spending next year could top US$10 billion, slightly higher than this year’s record figure of US$9.7 billion.
Most of the spending this year is to be used to triple its 20-nanometer capacities, TSMC said.