2015: A Year In Review

Semiconductor Market Trends Semiconductor revenues were essentially flat in 2015 when compared to 2014 levels according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS). The materials market mirrored the device market, while the equipment market contracted 3%. The semiconductor equipment market typically receives more attention than the materials market, however, and the materials market has... » read more

Capex Growing To A Record High In 2015

Semiconductor companies are spending more than ever to stay competitive. In 2015, the total amount spent for capital expenditures is forecast to be $68.7 billion, up 9% from 2014’s $63.3 billion. This breaks the previous record set in 2011 at $63.8 billion, as shown in the following graph. Total Semiconductor Capital Expenditures, 2009-2015 Source: Semico Research Corp. The Top 15 A... » read more

Book-To-Bill Ratio Strengthens

The book-to-bill ratio, which is a measure of orders received versus product billed, was positive for the first four months of the year, a sign that equipment sales are up as foundries prepare for manufacturing at advanced nodes and for the IoT. The three-month moving average for bookings was $1.57 billion in April for North America alone, which is up 9% year over year from $1.44 billion. Th... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

It could be a long year for the equipment industry. First, Intel reduced its 2015 capital expenditure budget to $8.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million. This is down from the previous mid-point guidance of $10.1 billion. As a result of Intel’s announcement, Pacific Crest Securities cut its worldwide 2015 semiconductor CapEx forecast. The new CapEx forecast is now $62.5 billion in 2015. Th... » read more

Monetizing The IoT

I hear it all the time: "Yeah, the IoT is awesome, but how do we make money on it?” Good question. And the answers are about a diverse as the definitions for the IoT itself. There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for what the IoT will be and can bring across a wide diversity of industry segments. But the nagging question remains, "What can we do to make sure we make good business deci... » read more

2014 CapEx: Memory Is Leading The Way

The semiconductor industry is expensive. Billions of dollars are spent every year to keep the fabs running, build new fabs, and push the process technology to greater and greater heights. Billions more will be spent to make 450mm production a reality. In January 2013, Semico predicted that, based on initial indications from some companies, total CapEx would be flat this year. Based on current d... » read more

The Week In Review: July 15

By Mark LaPedus There are more problems surfacing with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Yes, the light source remains a problem, but the resists appear to be in decent shape. “The next challenge is the mask blank,” said Stefan Wurm, director of Sematech’s lithography program. The new problem involves ion beam deposition, which apparently is causing defects and overfill on EUV masks... » read more