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Global Fab Equipment Spending Poised To Log Three Straight Years Of Record Highs


Fueled by surging pandemic-inspired demand for electronics devices, the global semiconductor industry is on track to register a rare three consecutive years of record highs in fab equipment spending with a 16% increase in 2020 followed by forecast gains of 15.5% this year and 12% in 2022, SEMI highlighted in its quarterly World Fab Forecast report. Fabs worldwide will add about $10 billion ... » read more

Washington Takes Key Steps to Bolster U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing And Supply Chains


Recent semiconductor supply chain constraints have drawn the attention of Washington policymakers at every level. Exasperated by the global pandemic, customers of semiconductor manufacturers have sounded the alarm about the chip shortage and the downstream consequences for end-user companies and consumers. Global automakers have suffered the brunt of the impact, shuttering factories and slashin... » read more

ALD Coatings For Critical Chamber Components


With each transition to a new technology node, fab requirements for metal and particle contamination become more stringent, posing challenges for existing coating methods such as anodization or plasma spray that may not provide complete protection against contamination especially on critical chamber components with complex geometry. SEMI spoke with Beneq business executive Sami Sneck about... » read more

China Passes Americas And Japan In IC Capacity


Back in 2012, China ranked fifth among seven regions worldwide in IC wafer capacity but surged past the Americas and Japan in 2018 and 2019 to claim the number three position (figure 1). That’s a big deal given that ICs account for the largest share of wafer capacity excluding discrete, opto, MEMS and sensors. China’s IC wafer capacity growth accelerated to tune of 14% in 2019 and 21% in... » read more

Mobility And 5G Drive Adoption Of New Materials For Power Devices


Electric mobility, renewable energy, and other technology innovations like IoT, 5G, smart manufacturing, and robotics all require reliability, efficiency, and compact power systems, fueling the adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) to support lower voltages in significantly smaller devices. But chip designers must overcome the technological and economical challenges of int... » read more

Chip Equipment Billings Soar In 2020


The global economy has started down a gradual path to recovery from COVID-19 in recent months as the world continues to combat the virus. Yet one sector – semiconductors – has shown impressive growth powered by a transformation hastened by the pandemic across industries ranging from education and work-from-home to healthcare. Semiconductor sales increased 12% in September to mark a secon... » read more

Smart Manufacturing In Fabs


Not long after STMicroelectronics opened its first semiconductor plant in Singapore more than 50 years ago, a facility chiefly focused on chip assembly and packaging, the company realized that it had constructed the site in an area with a blossoming chip ecosystem with a bright future. Before long, the company became the first to start a wafer fab facility in the so-called Little Red Dot. To... » read more

Smart Backend Assembly Factory For Industry 4.0


I recently spoke with Chan Pin CHONG, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Products and Solutions at Kulicke & Soffa, about how smart manufacturing is driving new production efficiencies in the semiconductor industry. During our conversation, he also provided practical steps for factory operators to follow in evaluating their smart manufacturing needs in order to ensure successfu... » read more

A Mid-Year End Market Recovery For Semiconductors


Although the semiconductor chip and capital equipment markets performed well in the first half of 2020, many of the electronic equipment end markets struggled globally. World electronic equipment sales declined almost 10% in 2Q’20 vs. 2Q’19 (chart 1). Better mid-year end market demand However, world business conditions are improving. The global purchasing managers index, a measure of broa... » read more

Semiconductors Up Globally, Warnings Ahead


Things are picking up. Purchasing managers indices indicated July manufacturing increases in most key countries with only South Korea and Japan having PMIs still in contraction territory (chart 1). The Global PMI recovered sharply (chart 2), reaching 50.3 in July. Service sector still fighting pandemic The manufacturing sector is recovering but the service sector is still struggling, hit h... » read more

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