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High NA EUV Litho May Require Larger Photomask Size


By Jeff Chappell With extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) potentially being used in pilot production in a few years, it raises the question of larger photomasks sizes—will the industry need them, and if so, when? While there has been discussion of late about the possible need to transition to a larger mask size, veterans of the mask business may feel it's déjà vu all over again. Back... » read more

Merchant Photomask Makers Remain Relevant


By Jeff Chappell For many years the trend in the semiconductor industry with regard to photomasks and chipmakers was to shed captive mask operations in favor of merchant photomask suppliers. This reflected a larger trend all along the supply chain with many companies moving away from vertical integration as, consequently, the foundry model grew. "This was mainly driven by cost consideratio... » read more

Trickle Down Equipment Economics


By Jeff Chappell By now, with the rise of China as a center of manufacturing, everyone in the chip industry has no doubt heard of the supposed Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." It's practically cliché. The thing is, the next two industry cycles may indeed prove interesting for the used equipment market. At the moment, everyone is tired of interesting times, and those in ... » read more

Foundry Models In Transition


By Jeff Chappell There may have been a time when AMD founder Jerry Sanders famous quote: "real men (i.e., real companies) have their own fabs” rang true, but in today's business climate it seems quaint at best. Fabless or fab-lite business models are more popular than ever today, while some IDMs have turned back the clock, so to speak, looking to improve capacity utilization and revenues ... » read more

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