February 1, 2006 – Global sales of Japanese-made semiconductor manufacturing equipment decreased 9.2% in 2005 to 1.47 trillion yen (US $12.51 billion), the first decline in three years, but improving demand late in the year bodes well for a comeback in 2006, according to the Semiconductor Equipment Industry of Japan (SEAJ).
The biggest decline in 2005 was seen in backend segments, with testing and assembly equipment falling 12%-13% for the year. Meanwhile, smaller frontend segments for wafer manufacturing and mask reticle tools increased 15%-20%.
Global orders fell 10.4% to 1.44 trillion yen ($12.29 billion), the first decline in four years. Demand for backend segments slipped only 1%, while wafer-processing tools dropped 14%, and assembly orders were down 10%.
Domestic equipment sales in 2005 were basically flat at 813.5 billion yen ($6.93 billion), but still the third highest on record after 2000 and 2004.
For December, global sales were down <1% to 139.5 billion yen ($1.19 billion), but orders jumped 30% to 151.8 billion yen ($1.29 billion), topping the 150 billion yen mark for the first time since March.