Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled $22.2 billion in 2003, according to SEMI, the global industry association of companies that supply manufacturing technology and materials to the world's chip makers. The San Jose-based group's figures represent a year-over-year increase of 12.4 percent.

Compiled from data submitted by members of SEMI and the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ), the report is a summary of the monthly billings and bookings figures for the global semiconductor equipment industry.

“Although capital spending through the first three quarters of last year remained fairly cautious, 2003 ended on a bright note for the global semiconductor equipment industry,” said Stanley T. Myers, SEMI's president and CEO. “The improved outlook for global semiconductor demand, coupled with tightening capacity, increased semiconductor revenues and rising equipment orders, supports expectations of a return of robust growth for equipment spending across all regions in 2004.”