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Semiconductor manufacturers are ordering less equipment because of falling chip prices and overall lackluster economy.Orders and shipments of new semiconductor equipment fell in September compared to August, according to trade association SEMI.
Chip equipment manufacturers received $952.9 million in new orders in September, compared to $1.12 billion in August. However, September 2012 orders were up 2.8 percent compared to September 2011.
The three-month average of worldwide billings (shipments) in September was $1.18 billion, down from $1.34 billion in August. The billings figure was also 10.4 percent lower than August 2011 when billings totaled $1.31 billion, SEMI reported.
The semiconductor equipment book-to-bill ratio was 0.81. That means equipment manufacturers received $81 in new orders for every $100 of equipment they shipped in September.
“The decline in bookings and billings for semiconductor equipment to levels last reported in the fall of 2011 further confirms the second-half investment slowdown,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. He added that semiconductor manufacturers are "grappling with lower average selling prices and uncertainty with the broader economy,” which is impacting new equipment purchases.