By Matt Wickenheiser
Both worldwide IC sales and orders rose from November to December, bringing the IC book-to-bill ratio up along with them, according to the latest Industry Pulse Pro report from VLSI Research Inc.
Worldwide IC orders were at $8.93 billion in December, up from VLSI’s revised November total of $8.41 billion, an increase of 6.1%. Sales rose month-to-month as well, with December at $9.9 billion, up 17% from November’s $8.44 billion. The book-to-bill ratio rose to 1.01 in December, up from the 0.92 ratio of November. VLSI predicts that orders will continue to rise in January, to $10.45 billion, but expects sales to drop to $8.04 billion.
Front end capacity utilization dropped in December, VLSI reported, falling to 69.1% from November’s 72.1%.
Japanese equipment sales fared better as well, according to the most recent report from the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan. Worldwide sales of Japanese-made semiconductor equipment rebounded a bit in November, following a precipitous drop the month before. Sales rose 35% in November, up to 40.8 billion yen from October’s 30.3 billion yen, However, that figure is a 70.8% decline year-over-year, from November 2000’s 139.7 billion yen.
Orders for Japanese equipment totaled 24.4 billion yen in November, a drop of 27.5% from October’s 33.7 billion yen. That’s a drop of 85.6% year-over-year.