Front-end capacity utilization up slightly

APRIL 22--Worldwide IC orders rose slightly from February to March, according to the latest Industry Pulse Pro report from VLSI Research (San Jose, CA; www.vlsiresearch.com).

Apr 22nd, 2002

APRIL 22--Worldwide IC orders rose slightly from February to March, according to the latest Industry Pulse Pro report from VLSI
Research (San Jose, CA; www.vlsiresearch.com). According to VLSI, IC orders in March were at $10.62 billion, up from February's $10.60 billion. VLSI projects orders to hit $11.92 billion in April.

Worldwide IC sales saw a larger increase, according to VLSI, with $8.45 billion in February and $10.77 billion in March. Front-end capacity utilization also rose slightly, February to March, rising from 71.3 to 73.8%.

In other industry news, both sales and orders of Japanese tools rose from January to February, with orders in particular making an impressive 48.8% jump, according to the latest report by the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ). SEAJ reported that worldwide orders for Japanese equipment in
February totaled 45.82 billion yen, up from January's 30.79 billion yen. Sales rose 14.4%, up to 47.13 billion yen from January's 41.29 billion yen.

Those numbers are still a far cry from the same period a year ago, however. In February 2001, Japanese tool sales were at 152 billion yen (69.1% higher than in 2002) and orders were at 79 billion yen (42% higher than today), according to SEAJ's numbers.

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