We all know the semiconductor industry is facing some pretty tough times. Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International's recent report provides the gloom with some cold, hard figures.
According to the SEMI Capital Equipment Consensus Forecast, the industry will ship $31 billion of new chip manufacturing, testing, and assembly equipment in 2001. That's a 35% drop from 2000's record $47.7 billion tally. Despite that, the survey indicates that the capital equipment market will grow 11.6% next year to $34.6 billion, followed by a 22.5% leap to $42.4 billion in 2003.
"Chip manufacturing capacity was being added at accelerated levels last year because PC, cell-phone, telecommunication, and network communication markets were expected to grow through 2001," explains Stanley Myers, president and CEO of SEMI. "Weakness in these end markets led to an overcapacity situation, and chip makers stopped ordering new high-tech manufacturing equipment."
Myers added that 2001 will see the largest annual percentage decline for the equipment industry. However, he continued, it will also be the second greatest year for industry revenues. For details, go to www.semi.org.