March 17, 2004 – New data from SEMI provides more evidence as to how the semiconductor-equipment industry landscape is shifting, and where the momentum for growth is coming from — and where it is absent.
Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment rose 12.4% in 2003 to $22.2 billion, up from $19.7 billion in 2002, according to SEMI’s new report, which tracks worldwide billings for six chip-producing regions and nearly two dozen product categories. “Although capital spending through the first three quarters of last year remained fairly cautious, 2003 ended on a bright note,” said SEMI president and CEO Stanley Myers. Growing chip demand, tightening capacity, improving revenues, and rising equipment orders indicate “a return of robust growth for equipment spending across all regions in 2004,” he said.
Two examples illustrate the change in the market’s landscape in the past year. As indicated by earlier data from SEMI and SEAJ, Japan outgrew North America in 2003 to become the largest region in terms of semiconductor sales. Japan trailed North America by 51% in 2002 in terms of sales, but reversed that into a 17% lead by the end of 2003; during the same period Japan widened an 11% gap with Taiwan to 90%. Also, Korea, which generated the lowest revenues of any major region in 2002 (and less than half of Taiwan’s total), surpassed both Taiwan and Europe in 2003. The “rest of world” region, an aggregation of sales in China, Singapore, Malaysia, and other smaller markets, maintained steady 21% growth.