SAN FRANCISCO —The semiconductor equipment industry's sales
and orders continued to slow quickly in October in a "muted"
capital expenditure environment, an industry organization
The equipment industry trade group SEMI reported three-month
average of worldwide billings in October 2012 was $986.5
million. The billings figure is 15.3 percent lower than the
revised September 2012 level of $1.16 billion, and is 21.6
percent less than the September 2011 billings level of $1.26
The three-month average of worldwide bookings in October 2012
was $743.2 million. The bookings figure is 18.6 percent lower
than the revised September 2012 level of $912.8 million, and is
19.8 percent lower than the October 2011 order level of $926.8
The group's widely cited book-to-bill ratio also fell to its
lowest level in 2012 to 0.75 from 0.78 in September and 0.82 in
August. October's number means 75 cents in new orders were
booked for every dollar in product revenue.
High to low
The best book-to-bill month in 2012 was March 1.12.
"Semiconductor industry investments remain muted as the industry
enters the fourth quarter," said Denny McGuirk, president and
CEO of SEMI. "Investments in leading-edge technologies will
continue to drive spending in the near-term, while a clearer
2013 outlook will emerge over the next couple of months as capex
plans are announced."
While the B:B numbers are falling and Septembers bookings
numbers was revised down slightly, there's cause for some
optimism. The B:B ratio in 2011 followed a similar pattern to
2012, dipping to its lowest level in September and October
before beginning a rebound in November on its way to that March
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