Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test

Lam CEO resigns; TSMC supplier awards; supply-chain fire.


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 capable of leading LRCX; he has demonstrated good business and leadership skills over the nearly two decades we’ve known him,” said Weston Twigg, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, in a research note.

TSMC has held its 18th annual Supply Chain Management forum to show appreciation for the support and contributions of its suppliers in 2018. The outstanding suppliers recognized by TSMC for their performance can be found here. The winners are: Applied Materials, ASM International, EBARA, IMS, SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions, Daifuku, KANTO-PPC, Merck and SUMCO.

ASML expects some delay in deliveries during the start of 2019, due to a fire at one of its suppliers of electronics components and modules. The fire at a company named Prodrive destroyed part of the supplier’s production capacity and some inventories.

In a blog, Gill Lee, managing director of memory technology in the Semiconductor Products Group at Applied Materials, discusses the memory trends for the next decade.

Veeco Instruments and G&H, a supplier of optical components, have announced the installation of Veeco’s ion beam sputtering system at G&H’s Moorpark, Calif.-based facility. The new capability supports G&H’s portfolio of optics for ultraviolet, visible and infrared systems.

At the 2018 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Imec presented a 300mm platform for MOSFET devices based on 2D materials. The transfer process was developed together with SUSS MicroTec and Brewer Science using temporary bonding and debonding technologies.

Leti, a research institute at CEA Tech, has announced an extension of its 300mm wafer line to open new R&D avenues for its industrial partners. This extension will allow new modules to be inserted in or made compatible with current industrial flows.

NuFlare and EpiQuest have entered into a business alliance agreement regarding the development, design, and manufacturing in the field of epitaxial growth systems.

Revasum has commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Revasum is a provider of grinding, polishing, and chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) equipment.

Mycronic has appointed Anders Lindqvist as its new president and chief executive. His most recent position was at Piab Group, where he has been chief executive since 2013. He will replace Lena Olving, who is retiring.

SEMI has applauded the United States and China for agreeing to take the first steps to reduce trade tensions. The U.S. plans to delay tariff increases on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China has vowed to increase U.S. market access. Both parties are planning talks over the course of 90 days to address current frictions.

In a separate announcement, John Neuffer, president and chief executive of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), added: “SIA welcomes the announcement that President Trump and President Xi are de-escalating tensions and will immediately commence negotiations to address long-standing trade problems. Over the next 90 days and beyond, the U.S. semiconductor industry will be monitoring the progress achieved on important aspects of China’s trade practices as highlighted in USTR’s Section 301 Report, including findings of forced tech transfer, intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, data localization measures, and discriminatory cybersecurity rules. Much is at stake as the two sides endeavor to set U.S.-China trade relations on a more productive path.”

This could spoil the trade talks. Huawei’s chief financial officer was arrested in Canada, according to a report from Bloomberg. The arrest was over alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to the report.

Market research
SEMI reported that third quarter 2018 worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings dropped 5% from the previous quarter to $15.8 billion but are 11% higher than the same quarter a year ago.

The semiconductor manufacturing industry is attempting to attract new talent. To solve this challenge, SEMI is launching a campaign to raise industry awareness and attract students in the arena.

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