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Semiconductor Equipment Sales to Rise 12.1 Percent in 2011

Semiconductor equipment sales will grow 12.1 percent to $44.33 billion in 2011, according to trade association SEMI's mid-year capital equipment forecast.

Overall equipment revenue will increase on the strength of robust sales of wafer processing equipment, which is the largest segment of the semiconductor equipment market. Sales of wafer processing equipment will rise 18.8 percent in 2011 to $35.1 billion.

Sales of semiconductor test equipment will decline 5.5 percent in 2011 to $3.92 billion, and assembly and packaging equipment will drop 18 percent to $3.18 billion, according to SEMI.

The $44.33 billion of equipment that will ship in 2011 represents the second highest spending year for semiconductor capital equipment in history. In 2000, $48 billion was spent on chip equipment, according to SEMI. Equipment manufacturers posted 148 percent growth in 2010 when sales reached $39.55 billion.

In 2012, the semiconductor equipment market is expected to experience a slight decrease of about 1.2 percent. Still, spending will be at a high level, SEMI President Stanley Meyers noted.

Growth is forecasted for all regions in 2011, with Taiwan expected to be the largest market for equipment spending in both 2011 and 2012.

North America will be the second largest market for spending on semiconductor equipment as sales rise 61 percent to $9.25 billion.

Korea will be third in terms of equipment spending, although sales will decline 4.2 percent to $7.98 billion.