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Shipments, Orders for New Chip Equipment Rise

Although the semiconductor book-to-bill ratio fell slightly, new orders for semiconductor equipment are at the highest levels since May 2011.
Semiconductor suppliers continue to order more equipment for fabs as the three-month average for new orders and shipments both increased in May, according to trade association SEMI.

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.61 billion in orders in May 2012 (three-month average basis). Orders (bookings) were up 0.6 percent from April, but down 0.7 percent from May 2011.

The three-month average of shipments (billings) in May 2012 totaled $1.54 billion, up is 5.3 percent from April 2012, but down 8 percent from May 2011 when billings were $1.67 billion.

The book-to-bill ratio for May 2012 was 1.05. That means semiconductor equipment manufacturers received $105 in new orders for every $100 of equipment that they shipped in May.

“Worldwide orders for new semiconductor equipment have continued to increase over the past year as chipmakers add capacity and process technology to meet demand driven by mobile products, smart phones, and tablets,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO at SEMI. He noted that bookings were at the highest levels since May 2011, and it is the fourth consecutive month that new orders have outpaced billings.