SAN JOSE, Calif., March 2 -- Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), the global industry association of companies that supply manufacturing technology and materials to the world's chip makers, reported that worldwide sales of semiconductor equipment nearly doubled in 2000, growing 90 percent over the previous year. The data was reported in the Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Statistics (SEMS) report, now available from SEMI. Compiled from data submitted by members of SEMI and the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ), the SEMS report is a summary of the monthly shipments and bookings figures for the global semiconductor equipment industry. The report, which includes data for the six major semiconductor producing regions and 21 product categories, shows worldwide shipments totaled $48.4 billion in 2000 compared with $25.5 billion in sales posted in 1999. "The year-end totals confirm what was increasingly apparent all last year: 2000 was a record-buster," said SEMI president and CEO, Stanley T. Myers. "Among regions, Taiwan continued to set the pace for the industry and for the first time finished the year as the second largest market for semiconductor equipment. Among product categories, electroplating and other thin-film deposition equipment stood out with 122 percent growth, reflecting the increasing adoption of copper interconnect technology. Linear and mixed signal test equipment led among back end process equipment, with 126 percent growth, largely in response to the expansion of telecommunications and wireless technologies." North America remained the largest market for semiconductor equipment, rising to $13.15 billion, an increase of 77 percent over the $7.45 billion in sales posted in 1999. Taiwan came in second, at $9.42 billion, up 108 percent from $4.52 billion in 1999. Japan followed close with $9.22 billion in sales, an increase of 67 percent from $5.52 billion in 1999. Shipments to Europe rose 105 percent in 2000, to $6.62 billion from $3.24 billion in 1999, and shipments to Korea rose 100 percent, to $3.96 billion from $1.98 billion the previous year.