August 5, 2005 – According to a report by The Information Network, the semiconductor equipment market will trend upward starting in mid-2006 and reach double-digit growth in 2007 and 2008.
Robert N. Castellano, president of the New Tripoli, PA-based market research firm, said, “Our forecasts going back to August 2004 took into consideration the excess equipment purchases in 2004, a slowdown in the semiconductor market from the 27%-30% range in 2004 to the 5%-7% in 2005, capacity utilization of tools, and global economies. We see nothing in the past 12 months has affected our forecasts, that they remain on track and viable, and we reiterate them. As the downturn continues and equipment manufactures struggle to avoid red ink, we see a new wave of layoffs on the horizon.” In December 2004, the firm had predicted that the semiconductor equipment market would drop 9.6% in 2005 and another 5.0% in 2006.
So far, second quarter through June showed a 1.3% revenue growth year-over-year compared to a 7.9% growth in Q1. Sequentially, 2Q05 was flat compared to 1Q05.
According to the report, “The Global Market for Equipment and Materials for IC Manufacturing,” sector growth will be highest in some segments of the metrology/inspection and dry etch markets, specifically macrodefect detection and dielectric etch, respectively. The report also forecasts that because of the slowdown in new fab construction this year, automation tools will lag behind the overall frontend market.