Despite the industry's general belief in an imminent market upswing, data from industry analysts continue to suggest that the goodwill has yet to translate into dollars for equipment makers.
North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $720.6 million in orders in August 2003 and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.91, according to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI). A book-to-bill of 0.91 means that $91 worth of new orders was received for every $100 of product billed for the month.
The orders, which represent the three-month average of worldwide bookings, are up 2% from July's total of $706.9 million, and represent a 29% drop from the $1.02 billion posted a year ago. The book-to-bill is relatively flat with July's book-to-bill ratio of 0.90 -- and both July's orders and book-to-bill were downwardly adjusted by more than 7% from SEMI's earlier estimates. The book-to-bill last achieved the parity level of 1.0 in September 2002, and has hovered just below that mark in all of 2003.
The three-month average of worldwide billings in August was $789.9 million, a slight gain from the revised July level of $785.9 million, and 21% below August 2002 billings of $969 million.
Although chip utilization continues to close in on 90%, this has "not yet translated into significant improvement" for equipment makers, for whom orders and sales "have remained essentially flat over the past several months," according to Dan Tracy, SEMI's director of industry research and statistics.
:: TECH TALK
:: STMicro brightens silicon's future
STMicroelectronics says it has made "significant advances" in developing light-emitting silicon technology with properties rivaling those of compound semiconductor materials.
:: Chip talk: Can you hear me now?
Researchers at Europe's Inter-university MicroElectronics Center (IMEC), Leuven, Belgium, have developed a prototype tool to model and analyze noise generated on low- and high-ohmic substrates used in ultra-deep, sub-micron CMOS technologies.
:: INDUSTRY NEWS
:: Motorola CEO steps down
Motorola chairman and CEO Chris Galvin, the grandson of company founder Paul Galvin, says he will retire as soon as a successor can be found.
:: Chip leaders sound off in San Fran
Semiconductor chip and equipment companies expressed guarded optimism at last week's Banc of America Securities' 33rd Annual Investment Conference in San Francisco.
AMAT CFO: Don't expect M&A activity For the full story click here: http://sst.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ONART&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=5&ARTICLE_ID=187816
Nat'l Semi chief: Orders "healthy" For the full story click here: http://sst.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ONART&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=5&ARTICLE_ID=187789
TI chief: "We are in recovery mode" For the full story click here: http://sst.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ONART&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=5&ARTICLE_ID=187783
:: TI waves RFID flag
Texas Instruments' RFID systems division is developing UHF RFID tags for use in supply chain and logistics applications.
:: Intel invests in Micron
The investment arm of Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA, has given $450 million to Micron Technology Inc., Boise, ID, to support its 300mm development and increase production of DDR2 memory technology.
:: LSI sells plant to Rohm
LSI Logic Corp., Milpitas, CA, has sold its 6-in. wafer manufacturing facility in Tsukuba, Japan, to Kyoto-based Rohm Co. for approximately $23.5 million.
:: Philips, IMEC continue 65nm efforts
Researchers at Royal Philips Electronics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and the Inter-university Microelectronics Center (IMEC), Leuven, Belgium, say they have completed fabrication of 65nm CMOS devices.
:: SPANNING THE GLOBE
Several Canadian government agencies, along with Carleton University, are joining forces to build a photonics fab in Ottawa. The Canadian government will contribute $30 million over five years to build the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Center, with the Ontario government chipping in with $13 million. The facility will be located at the country's National Research Council campus in Ottawa.
TSMC will invest an extra $222 million to increase production fivefold at its 8-in. wafer plant in Shanghai, according to the Shanghai Daily. The deal is the first stage of a plan to build four wafer plants in Shanghai's Songjiang Science and Technology Park. Eventually the company expects the operations to produce up to 70,000 wafers/month.
Korean semiconductor exports to the US and Europe were down in August to their lowest amount in a decade, leaving Korea International Trade Association officials "greatly concerned" about the nation's chip market.
DongbuAnam Semiconductor has increased production capacity by 50% at its facility in Sangwoo, according to Asia Pulse Businesswire. The foundry has invested nearly $265 million to raise output to 7,500 wafers/month, and plans to boost capacity to 11,000 wafers/month by the end of 2003. DongbuAnam also is investing 30% to 40% of its 2003 capex to open new 0.13-micron facilities by the end of the year.
:: PUERTO RICO
After unsuccessfully trying to sell it directly for two years, Intel has auctioned off its plant in Puerto Rico for an undisclosed amount. Work at the 480,000 square-foot plant, which was used for assembling network interface cards and motherboards, has been transferred to the company's cheaper facilities in Malaysia.
Despite a double-digit increase in IC exports, Singapore's overall electronics exports slowed year-on-year to 3.5% in August, well behind growth of 10.8% in July and 18.7% in June, resulting in government hand-wringing and action from the IMF.
:: WaferNEWS FAB 50
Six test and verification service providers have formed a trade group to offer outsourced backend services to fabless semiconductor companies.
:: Amkor to expand in Taiwan
Amkor Technology Inc., Chandler, AZ, is expanding its test and wafer probe capacity in Taiwan through a deal with FICTA.
:: Subscription Information
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