Chip equipment orders up 66% YTY in January

North American manufacturers of microchip-making gear reported their sixth straight month of increasing orders in January, demonstrating a broad recovery in capital spending by chip makers, a U.S. trade group said on Thursday. Orders rose 66% from last January to $1.22 bil, and rose 4% from a revised December level of $1.18 bil, according to a report from San Jose, California-based Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International. Shipments of equipment rose 33% from last January to $1.04 bil. The ratio of orders to shipments, known as the book-to-bill ratio, was 1.18 in January, signifying that for every $100 of products shipped, $118 in new orders were brought in.