Front-end semiconductor equipment market to fall 9.6% in 2005, 3% in 2006

The front-end semiconductor equipment market will drop sequentially over the next three quarters before starting an upward track in mid-2006 that will ultimately reach double-digit growth in 2007 and 2008, according to The Information Network. 2006 will still be a down year, dropping 3.0% following a 9.6% drop in 2005. The Information Network forecasts a 15% drop in Q3 revenues YTY and another 19% drop in Q4. Sequentially, Q3 2005 over Q2 2005 will drop 2% while Q4 2005 over Q3 2005 will drop 13%. Capacity utilization will rise through mid-2006 to 95% for all ICs and nearly 100% for ICs under 160 nm before the next wave of billings commences. The front-end semiconductor market is geared to increase 23.5% in 2007 and 31.0% in 2008.