Chip sales took it on the chin in November, according to a new report by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), with sales dipping 9.9 per cent worldwide when compared to November of 2007. The news is worse if you're in the Europe or the US - European sales were down 13.9 percent while the US absorbed a hefty 19.5 per …
Geez. Don't Write About Things You Don't Understand
SEMI has *nothing* to do with chip sales. It is only about Semiconductor Capital Equipment sales.
Besides which, a book to bill ratio is completely meaningless: the *only* thing that matters about SEMI's book to bill is the bookings trend. Because a book to bill is a ratio, a ratio > 1 just means the number on top is bigger than the number on the bottom. So, if shipments (billings) are collapsing at a slightly faster pace than orders (bookings), then book to bill is > 1.
As it happens, demand for Semiconductor Capital Equipment *is* collapsing, and thats all that matters.
The editors should pull this piece and replace it with a comment written by somebody who at least knows something about these data. This is an embarassment.
Like a sawtooth. XP released, sales crater. Slow growth happens anyway. Vista released, two years flat. Economy craters, well, it's 2001 X 10.
...if ever jump into comments threads, but in this case I believe it makes sense to do so.
Mingy, don't you believe that book-to-bill of "front-end (wafer processing/mask/reticle/wafer manufacturing/fab facilities) equipment and final manufacturing (assembly/packaging/test) equipment" -- as defined by SEMI -- has anything to do with semiconductor final-product sales? Of course it does.
You are, of course, correct, in that my breeziness didn't make that clear, but the book-to-bill ratio of manufacturing equipment is directly related to chip sales. If anything, it's a better indicator of market volatility than pure monthly chip-sale reports due to that fact that fabs are, in many ways, turn-them-on, turn-them off materials-pipes, while the book-to-bill investment in equipment that supports fabs indicates market confidence.
Again, you're correct that I didn't make that clear -- but my original argument that book-to-bill is a good indicator of the overall health of worldwide chip sales still stands.