Outlook For Masks, Materials and Wafers


After a slowdown in the first half of 2019, chipmakers and equipment vendors face a cloudy outlook for the second half of this year, with a possible recovery in 2020. But what about other key technologies like materials, photomasks and silicon wafers? These are also critical for the semiconductor supply chain and are key indicators where the market is heading. In the first half of 2019, m... » read more

Mixed Outlook For Silicon Wafer Biz


After a period of record growth, the silicon wafer industry is off to a slow start in 2019 and facing a mixed outlook. Generally, 200mm silicon wafer supply remains tight. But demand for 300mm silicon wafers is cooling off in some segments, causing supply to move toward equilibrium after a period of shortages. On average, though, silicon wafer prices continue to rise despite the slowdown. ... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools/manufacturing Lam Research has accepted Martin Anstice’s resignation as chief executive and a member of the board. Lam has named Tim Archer as president and chief executive effective immediately. Archer, who served as Lam’s president and chief operating officer, has been named to the board. One analyst provided a comment on the situation at Lam. “In our view, Mr. Archer is very... » read more

Silicon Wafers: Tight Supply, High Prices


For years, the silicon wafer industry suffered from oversupply and depressed prices, causing considerable consolidation in the industry. Then, two or so years ago, the IC industry entered into a boom cycle. Silicon wafer vendors began to experience tight supply amid strong demand from IC makers. Some silicon wafer makers even raised their prices. Today, the silicon wafer market remains st... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Chipmakers GlobalFoundries has announced the addition of nine new partners to its RFwave Partner Program, including AkronIC, Ask Radio, Catena, University of Waterloo Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS), Giga Solution, Helic, Incize, Mentor Graphics and Xpeedic Technology. The RFwave Partner Program builds upon GF’s radio-frequency (RF) efforts. The new partners will pro... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers and OEMs After more than four years as chief executive of GlobalFoundries, Sanjay Jha will hand over the company’s top position to Thomas Caulfield, senior vice president and general manager at the foundry vendor. Caulfield, who joined GlobalFoundries in 2014, will become CEO. He has been running the company's fab in New York. "Jha intends to work closely with the company’s shar... » read more

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

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