SAN FRANCISCO — Sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment declined from August to September, the third consecutive month of sequential decrease as a market that has been red hot for more than a year continues to cool.
The three-month average of semiconductor equipment billings from North American tool manufacturers declined to $2.03 billion in September, down 7 percent from August, according to the SEMI trade association. However, billings remained well ahead of the pace of September 2016 by 36 percent, SEMI said.
According to Ajit Manocha, SEMI's president and CEO, true semiconductor equipment billings (not averaged) from North American manufacturers was about $2 billion, down 12 percent from the peak level set in June. "Total billings through the first three quarters of this amazing year have surpassed total billings for all of 2016," Manocha added.
The equipment market remains on pace for a record year, with sales of greater than $49 billion.
Meanwhile, the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan reported that the three-month average of billings among Japanese tool vendors slipped to about $1.39 billion, down 2 percent compared to December. The September billings figure was 20 percent higher than September 2016, SEAJ said.
— Dylan McGrath is editor-in-chief of EE Times.