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Semiconductor Equipment Orders Increase

Semiconductor suppliers increased orders for new equipment as the book-to-bill ratio registered 1.10 in April.
New orders and shipments of semiconductor equipment increased in April compared to the previous month, according to trade association SEMI.

The three-month average of worldwide bookings (new orders) in April 2012 totaled $1.60 billion, up 10.7 percent from $1.45 billion in March, SEMI reported. Equipment shipments (billings) increased 13 percent to $1.45 billion in April, compared to $1.29 billion in March.

However, billings were down 11 percent from April 2011, while bookings were flat compared to the same month one year ago, according to SEMI.

The book-to-bill ratio for April was 1.10, down slightly from 1.12 in March. A book-to-bill ratio of 1.10 means that equipment manufacturers received $110 in new orders for every $100 of equipment they shipped in April. Anytime the ratio is above 1.00, it means business is improving.

“Equipment orders in April increased to the value last reported one year ago,” said Dan Tracy, senior director of Industry research and statistics at SEMI. "Indications of increased spending have come from both the foundry and packaging subcontractor segments.”