The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tools and test Four former employees at Applied Materials were charged by the U.S. for allegedly trying to steal the company’s own fab tool technology designs, according to a report from Bloomberg and others. The former employees were allegedly trying to sell the technology to a Chinese startup that would compete against Applied, according to the report. The former employees--Liang C... » read more

5 Takeaways From SEMI’s SMC


At the recent Strategic Materials Conference (SMC), there were a multitude of presentations on a number of subjects. The event, sponsored by SEMI, had presentations on the IC industry, market drivers, electronic materials and other subjects. In no particular order, here are my five takeaways from SMC: Materials M&A mania Last year, the IC industry experienced a dizzying array of merger ... » read more

Silicon Wafers: M&A, Price Hikes


Chipmakers need to keep a close eye on the silicon wafer industry, as the business continues to undergo a number of changes. On one front, the silicon wafer industry continues to consolidate. Then, after years of suffering from an oversupply and falling prices, many silicon wafer vendors are experiencing tight supply and have begun to raise prices. Silicon wafers are a fundamental part of... » read more

Will There Be Enough Silicon Wafers?


The silicon wafer industry, a critical part of the IC supply chain, is undergoing a new and perhaps alarming wave of merger and acquisition activity. While consolidation in this sector is not new, the pace of M&A activity is picking up and there are fewer companies left. Silicon wafer makers produce and sell raw silicon wafers to chipmakers, which process them into chips. But despite con... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Fab tool and material vendors Applied Materials reported its results for the third quarter ended July 31. Net sales of $2.82 billion were up 15% sequentially and up 13% year over year. "AMAT reported impressive upside in July quarter and guided October quarter well ahead of expectations as the company is seeing sizable tailwinds across: 1) WFE uptick driven by foundry and NAND orders; 2) stron... » read more

It’s a Materials World, With Positive Forecast


By Michael Fury What’s the latest in materials forecasts for ALD/CVD precursors, CMP consumables, electronic gases, silicon wafers and sputtering targets? Techcet gives us an update. Metal Gate and Electrode Precursors to Double in Five Years Use of front-end Ta and W metal gate and Hf gate dielectric precursors will grow over 2.5x by 2020, according to a new report from Techcet, “20... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


As semiconductor technology becomes more challenging, expect more mergers and acquisitions in the fab tool sector. In a research report issued this week, Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, sees several possible M&A scenarios in the future. There is no evidence that any deal is pending right now. But according to Twigg, here are some possible M&As that could happen i... » read more

Explosion At Mitsubishi Materials


A big explosion at a semiconductor plant shocked the electronics community last month. This article discusses what happened and the fallout on the semiconductor industry. The explosion occurred at the Mitsubishi Materials Yokkaichi plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 9. Five people were killed and 12 others were injured, some seriously. Mitsubishi Materials issued ... » read more

450mm Silicon Wafer Issues Emerge


By Mark LaPedus The most critical component in semiconductor manufacturing is arguably the silicon wafer, but the substrate is often taken for granted in the supply chain. After all, silicon wafer makers have nearly perfected their craft over the years and produce what many consider mere commodities. And on the business front, silicon wafer makers often find themselves with excess capacity... » read more