The Week In Review: Manufacturing

450mm wafers; Applied, Advantest shine in rankings; Intel’s supplier awards; Intel cuts jobs.


Don’t look now, but the fab tool market is slowing. “After recent meetings in the supply chain plus examining comments from the largest spenders, we conclude that wafer fab equipment (WFE) could disappoint this year. We calculate approximately $30 billion to $31 billion in WFE spending in 2014, flattish from 2013, compared to expectations of $32 billion to $33 billion, which would be up 10%+. The decline may materialize as a mid-year pause as Samsung digests its large H2/13 equipment purchases for Xian and TSMC digests its high H2/13-Q1/14 spending for its 20nm ramp,” according to Canaccord Genuity.

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with Nikon, TEL, and the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) announced that Nikon’s 450mm immersion lithography tool will begin patterning and delivery of wafers in June of 2014 in support of the Global 450mm Consortium (G450C).

In the fab tool rankings for 2013, Applied Materials held onto the No. 1 spot based on its relative strength in deposition and etch, according to Gartner. Relative strength in lithography helped ASML to retain the No. 2 position. Lam Research moved into the No. 3 spot due to its strong performance in etch and deposition. In ATE, Advantest moved from 8th to 7th in the rankings.

Intel announced the eight winners of the company’s most prestigious award for suppliers, the Supplier Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI) award. Intel also announced that 18 companies will receive the 2013 Intel Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) award, which recognizes commitment to performance excellence and continuous improvement. Applied Materials and others made that list.

Intel is cutting 1,500 jobs as it closes an assembly and test site in Costa Rica, according to Bloomberg.

Ineda Systems, a developer of low-power SoCs, has raised $17 million in Series B funding. The investment was led by Walden-Riverwood Ventures and includes co-investors Samsung Catalyst Fund, Qualcomm, IndusAge Partners and Imagination Technologies. The chairman of the startup is GlobalFoundries CEO Sanjay Jha.

The global semiconductor materials market decreased 3% in 2013 compared to 2012, while worldwide semiconductor revenues increased 5%, according to SEMI.

SEMI reported that for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2013, worldwide photovoltaic manufacturing equipment book-to-bill ratio remained below parity, at 0.61, for the eleventh consecutive quarter. Bookings levels improved some in the quarter to reach the highest value since the first quarter of 2012.

Sematech announced that Ronald Goldblatt, vice president of technical strategy and operations, has been appointed by the board as acting president and chief executive. Goldblatt will replace Daniel Armbrust, who served as Sematech’s president and CEO since November 2009.

Freescale Semiconductor has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the Comcerto CPE communications processor business of Mindspeed Technologies.

The global smartphone applications processor market will register a healthy 10.8% in revenues from 2013 to 2018 to reach $30.0 billion in 2018, according to Strategy Analytics.

The global tablet applications processor market is set to register impressive growth of 14.6% in revenues from 2013 to 2018 to reach $7.2 billion in 2018, according to Strategy Analytics.

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