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Chipmaking equipment orders seen falling 10% in April-June

TOKYO -- Tokyo Electron and six other major Japanese chipmaking equipment manufacturers are expected to see orders fall for the first time in three quarters in April-June as the smartphone boom slows.

Combined orders are forecast to drop roughly 10% from the January-March quarter to about 340 billion yen ($3.21 billion), but "orders will probably bottom out in the April-June period," according to Disco, a maker of silicon wafer cutting saws. Orders are a leading indicator of sales at chipmaking machinery makers, since it normally takes between three to six months before orders can be booked as sales.

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