SAN FRANCISCO—Sales climbed in February for the fifth straight month among North America-based semiconductor equipment vendors as memory chip firms and foundries continued to invest in new capacity, according to the SEMI trade organization.
The three-month moving average of billings for North American fab tool vendors grew to $1.97 billion in February, an increase of 6 percent compared with January and 64 percent compared with February 2016, according to SEMI, a global organization that represents chip equipment and materials suppliers.
"Billings levels remain elevated as memory and foundry manufacturers continue to invest in advanced semiconductor technologies," said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI, in a press statement. "These investments are paving the way for the ramp of 3D NAND and 1X-nm devices."
Earlier this month, SEMI said chip equipment sales grew by 13 percent last year and forecast that the period 2016 to 2018 would mark the first three consecutive years of expansion for semiconductor equipment since the mid-1990s.
The three-month average of chip equipment billings has risen on an annual basis each month since September 2016. The three-month average has risen on a month-to-month basis each month since December, according to SEMI's monthly billings report.
SEMI ceased publishing a regular book-to-bill report in January after more than two decades. The trade group said it ceased publishing the bookings because of changes in reporting by some participants who no longer considered it a necessary component of their industry analysis.