SAN JOSE -- It's safe to say that the chip-equipment market was terrible in the third quarter of 2001, especially for suppliers of back-end gear, according to statistics from the Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI) trade group here.
Shipments and bookings for all chip-equipment segments were depressed in the third quarter of 2001, but the back-end segments like testers and IC-packaging tools were especially hit hard. In some cases, shipments of automatic-test equipment (ATE) were down more than 90% in the third quarter of 2001, as compared to the like period a year ago, said SEMI.
"Assembly and test have been hit hard, but not as bad as test," said analyst Craig Klootwyk, who tracks the market for SEMI. On Tuesday, SEMI released its overall chip-equipment forecast for Q3. Worldwide semiconductor equipment sales dropped 20.2% sequentially in the third quarter to $5.63 billion from $7.07 billion in Q2, according to the San Jose-based trade association (see Nov. 27 story ).
SEMI also broke out its forecast into the various chip-equipment segments. In total, front-end wafer processing equipment hit $2.4 billion in total bookings for the third quarter of 2001, an 80% decline over the like period a year ago and a 24% drop from last quarter, according to SEMI.
Shipments of front-end equipment were $4.2 billion in the third quarter, a 52% drop from a year ago and a 21% decline sequentially, according to SEMI.
In a further break out of front-end processing equipment, exposure and mask-writing tool bookings were $417 million in the third quarter, an 81% decline from a year ago and a 41% drop sequentially, they said.
Shipments for this segment totaled $712 million in the period. This represents a 44% drop from a year ago and a 28% fall sequentially, they said.
For etch-based processing equipment market, bookings and shipments were $280 million and $543 million, respectively, in the third quarter. Bookings fell 82% over the like period a year ago and 34% sequentially, while shipments dropped 60% from a year ago and 9% sequentially, according to SEMI.
In the back-end assembly and packaging equipment markets, bookings were $168 million in the quarter, an 83% drop over the like period a year ago and a 30% decline sequentially, they said. Shipments fell 76% to $252 million for the quarter. This represents a 26% drop in the second period in 2001, reported SEMI.
The ATE market was also hit hard. Shipments of ATE fell 77%, from $2.7 billion in the third quarter of 2000, to $600 million in the third period of 2001, said SEMI.
The logic, memory, and linear test equipment markets fell 86%, 80%, and 77% in terms of shipments over the like period a year ago, the trade group added. And the logic, memory, and linear test markets dropped by 92%, 90%, and 80% in terms of bookings from a year ago, said SEMI.