The Week In Review: Manufacturing

CapEx outlook; East Fishkill blues; new multi-beam startup; Lam on litho.

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According to one analyst, the capital spending picture looks gloomy. “We expect finFET and 3D NAND to ramp over the next two years. However, foundry and memory customers are showing great restraint with respect to spending plans, limiting the rate of new node transitions and overall capex upside. In the near term, we see no evidence of meaningful equipment orders to support high-volume finFET or 3D NAND ramps, suggesting that the rate and timing of both ramps could take some time. We model CapEx up 6% in 2014 and 5% in 2015,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities.

What if IBM’s chip business was sold and the unit left East Fishkill? It would hurt the region, according to a report from the Poughkeepsie Journal.

There is a new startup in the inspection business, which is talking about a multi-beam approach in the arena. In a video, Tony Luo, founder of Maglen and the eBeam Initiative’s newest member company, outlines the benefits of multi-column inspection.

In a video, Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S, describes how the acquisition of Gauda, and the hiring of lithography luminary Leo Pang, fits into D2S.

In a video, David Lam, chairman of Multibeam, examines the following question, entitled “Can eBeam lithography ever get into mainstream manufacturing?” Lam talks about the changes taking place in lithography and other issues.

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted a book-to-bill ratio of 1.00 in May, compared to 1.03 in April, according to SEMI. A book-to-bill of 1.00 means that $100 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.

SEMI reported the worldwide PV manufacturing equipment billings and bookings for the first quarter of 2014. At 1.24, the book-to-bill ratio broke above parity for the first time since 1Q 2011, with bookings at the highest quarterly value since Q1 2012.

SanDisk announced a definitive agreement to acquire Fusion-io, a developer of flash-based PCIe hardware and software solutions. The acquisition will be an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion, net of cash assumed.

GigOptix has signed a definitive agreement to acquire for cash only, by way of assuming specified liabilities, substantially all of the assets of Tahoe RF Semiconductor.

The power transistor marketplace has struggled for the past two years. The two-year losing streak for power transistors is expected to end in 2014, according to IC Insights.

Cover glass makers are turning to sapphire to raise growth prospects, according to NPD DisplaySearch.