Fab Equipment Poised For A Record 2021


Global fab equipment spending promises to crawl out of a gloomy 2019 and see a modest recovery this year before a sharp uptick drives record investments in 2021 in a vivid display of the decades-old cyclicality playing out in the semiconductor industry. Typically – and reliably – fab investments fall into negative territory after two years of growth, though a few periods have bucked that... » read more

2020 IC Outlook: Uncertainty


After a downturn in 2019, the semiconductor and equipment industries looked promising at the start of 2020. In 2019, the downturn was primarily due to the memory markets, namely DRAM and NAND. Both DRAM and NAND saw lackluster demand and falling prices last year. At the start of 2020, though, the memory markets were beginning to recover. Unlike memory, the logic and foundry markets were s... » read more

Impact Of Coronavirus Could Threaten Global Electronics Growth


Data through December showed a steady recovery in the global electronic supply chain with SEMI equipment leading the way in 3/12 growth (Chart 1). The global purchasing managers index moved into expansion territory (PMI>50) in January indicating accelerating growth in world manufacturing activity (Chart 2). But in late January the Coronavirus (COVID-19) began to make its negative impact f... » read more

Using New Technologies On Smaller Wafers


The industry is no longer held captive by sales from computing applications, such as personal computers, servers or even cellular phones and tablets. A diverse range of markets are contributing to growth seen by Lam and our customers. Cloud storage, machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), robotics, medical and automotive, including the ... » read more

Semiconductor Equipment Growth Resumes For 2020


The December Global Purchasing Managers Index was in zero growth territory (PMI = 50). However, the various country components varied significantly. With IHS Markit PMI data as a gauge of manufacturing activity, following are how some key electronics-producing countries and regions finished 2019. World Manufacturing Growth Flat to Start 2020 (Chart 1) To quote IHS Markit’s chief eco... » read more

Scaling Up And Down


You don’t have to look very far in the semiconductor world before you see the word “scaling.” Perhaps you read an industry news article headline about transistor scaling – how those nearly nanoscale components are shrinking even smaller in size down to the atomic scale. Or maybe you heard a reference to memory capacity scaling – how our favorite mobile devices can store more high-reso... » read more

Early 2020 Looks Promising For Semi Industry


Reports of 2Q’19 financials from all of the major OEMs in our 213 company global sample show that their electronic equipment sales declined 1.4 percent compared to the same quarter of last year (Chart 1). This OEM group’s combined sales growth peaked in 2018 and then declined and was still falling in the second quarter of this year (Chart 2). Seasonality and currency exchange related ele... » read more

Impact Of U.S.-China Trade War


The trade war between the United States and China is escalating and it is here to stay. Last year, the Trump administration started the trade war with China for basically two reasons. First, China has a massive trade surplus with the U.S. Second, U.S. companies have been the subject of IP theft in China, which has largely gone unchecked, according to the Trump administration. Many disagre... » read more

From Sand To Wafers


More than most industries, ours is identified with a single element, silicon. Consider the self-adopted naming conventions of all the places that want to be recognized as members of the club—Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, Silicon Forest and so on. Silicon wafers are fundamental in manufacturing the electronic “chips” that pervade almost every aspect of our lives. New applications in IoT, ... » read more

Fearless chip and fab tool forecasts


2019 is expected to be a challenging, if not confusing, year for the semiconductor and fab equipment industries. For example, Apple recently issued a warning about lackluster smartphone demand, which impacted several IC vendors and foundries. Then, the memory market is plummeting. In addition, the 10nm/7nm transition has proven to be difficult for many. And let’s not forget the geopolitica... » read more

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