Worldwide sales of semiconductor-manufacturing equipment rose 10% last year and will surge 40% in 2004 as chipmakers upgrade plants and buy tools for new production techniques, researcher Gartner Inc. said. Sales increased to $22.8 bil in 2003 from $20.7 bil, Gartner said in a Business Wire statement. Sales at Applied Materials Inc., the No. 1 supplier, dropped 12%. Advantest Corp. had the fastest growth of the top companies, with sales more than doubling, Gartner said.
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