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VLSI doubles growth forecast for 2006 chip equipment

Posted: 21 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke? VLSI Research?

Annual worldwide semiconductor equipment revenues will grow 13.2 percent in 2006 to reach $57.8 billion, according to market consultant VLSI Research Inc., doubling its 6 percent growth forecast in January.

The company said its forecast for the 2006 IC market remains essentially unchanged, at $209 billion, up 8.8 percent from 2005. VLSI's semiconductor equipment data includes systems to make ICs, thin film heads, MEMS, and displays, plus service and support. Strong equipment order growth has prompted VLSI to revise its equipment forecast.

Equipment orders grew 14 percent in Q3 2005 and 11 percent in Q4 of 2005, the company said. Preliminary data for Q1 of 2006 suggest orders will increase another 14 percent sequentially, which sets up a good foundation for the equipment industry in 2006.

Preliminary data for March showed worldwide equipment bookings reached $6.7 billion, while billings amounted to almost $5.9 billion, resulting in a book-to-bill ration of 1.15 and the ninth consecutive month of ratios above 1.0.

However, the seasonal slowdown that typically occurs in the Q1 of the year did not take place and VLSI is predicting that front-end manufacturing capacity utilization will be 94.5 percent.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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