The latest industry figures suggest that the beleaguered semiconductor equipment industry has begun a slow recovery.
A spokesman for industry trade group Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International said at its recent Industry Strategy Symposium in Silicon Valley that he could now say with some confidence that the worst is over.
Having languished in the doldrums for nearly two years, the downtrodden industry is expected to see between 11.7 and 16 per cent sales growth in 2003. This matches predictions made by the Semiconductor Industry Association recently, which expects to see double digit growth this year and in 2004.
The industry, which develops the multimillion dollar equipment used by semiconductor companies, achieved slightly less than $20bn in revenue in 2002.
The spokesman said that there was a drop of 29 per cent from 2001 revenues of $28.04bn. Sales, which reached a peak of $48bn in the boom year of 2000, have not been this low since 1994.
Analysts have said that the chip industry was hammered by the 2000 bubble which forced companies to expand to meet demand.
However, when the bubble burst they were left with far too much kit and insufficient demand.
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