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Date: 10-07-14

Mid-2014 semiconductor manufacturing equipment market update

Semiconductor chip manufacturing equipment market follows a pattern where the sales revenue severely fall in one year and picks slowly in next year and grows quite fast the following 2 years and the cycle repeats. In fact this cyclical behavior also matches to global semiconductor IC market pattern, but the curves are steeper in case of semiconductor equipment.

Now in 2014, deep node investment by Intel, TSMC and Samsung resulting in lot of extremely-sophisticated yield enhancing equipment shopping. Not only IC manufacturing, display, solar and LED manufacturing is also helping in the growth of sales revenue of semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Below is the mid-year update on semiconductor equipment market and products:

Gartner has reported the worldwide semiconductor capital equipment spending is projected to total $38.5 billion in 2014, an increase of 15 percent from 2013 spending of $33.5 billion. Gartner predicts growth will continue up to 2018 with slight dip in 2016.

Gartner has forecasted worldwide semiconductor device revenue to reach $336 billion in 2014, a 6.7 percent increase from 2013, and up from the previous quarter's forecast of 5.4 percent growth. Memory (flash, DRAM, SRAM) and logic (processor, SoC, FPGA) ICs are major revenue generators.

Semiconductor equipment market for memory growth is picking up better than logic IC manufacturing. Gartner says memory will provide most of the growth in capital spending through 2018, with NAND Flash being the primary impetus. 3D Nand and DRAM, which required different set of semiconductor manufacturing equipments are driving the market. In logic, the move to FinFET is driving growth, which again need some different set of semiconductor equipments.

Recently concluded semiconductor manufacturing focused event Semicon West had 26,000 attendees. Below are products and other technology related updated on semiconductor equipment industry.

Lam Research has made a new equipment called 2300 Kiyo F Series conductor etch system, which Lam claims uses a breakthrough technology called the Hydra Uniformity System for cross-wafer process control that corrects for incoming pattern non-uniformities. The VECTOR ALD Oxide system uses atomic layer deposition (ALD) to create the highly conformal dielectric films that are used to define critical pattern dimensions in a multiple patterning sequence, say Lam.

KLA-Tencor announced four new defect inspection news systems 2920 Series, Puma 9850, Surfscan SP5 and eDR-7110 for the development and production of 16nm semiconductor chip production. These systems support yield related defect inspection.

Applied Materials' new Endura Ventura PVD system for fabricating 3D chips supports deposition of thin, continuous barrier and seed layers in through-silicon-vias (TSVs). Ventura system also supports the use of titanium in volume production as an alternate barrier material for lower cost. With the launch of the Ventura system, Applied said it is expanding its comprehensive toolset for wafer level packaging (WLP) applications, including TSVs, redistribution layer (RDL) and Bump.

Applied Materials has also made available a new ion implant semiconductor manufacturing equipment called Varian VIISta 900 3D system medium-current ion implantation tool. This tool supports both FinFET and three-dimensional NAND Flash memory chip fabrication at deep nodes. Ion implant technology is used to dope and deposit on silicon and other semiconductor material. FinFET and 3D NAND flash requires more deposit and etch process along with lithography steps. These days ion implant equipments are increasingly used for fabricating >2x node silicon devices. Ion beam not only alter the chemical, electric or optic properties of the hit material but can also be more effectively used for physical changing too.

Eteris is the name of merged semiconductor equipment business of Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron Limited.

Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) to begin accepting orders for its new NS300Z semiconductor wafer scrubber in October 2014. NS300Z can handle a throughput of up to 1,000 semiconductor wafers per hour through its eight process chambers but it offers quality, reliability and other market-proven features of TEL's NS300+ HT.

Intevac introduced the INTEVAC MATRIX thin film processing platform targeting into new adjacent markets.

Intevac says MATRIX is enabled by a carrier-based transport system that can accommodate various size substrates. The system can be configured with multiple thin film deposition technologies for in-line sequential processing; enables double-sided deposition without breaking vacuum; and can deposit in both horizontal or vertical substrate orientation.

Veeco Instruments is partnering with Rudolph helping users of Veeco’s etch and deposition equipment access to Rudolph’s fault detection and predictive maintenance software to increase system productivity and improve manufacturing efficiency.

Veeco introduced brokerage Marketplace site bringing together buyers and sellers to view, sell and buy pre-owned Veeco equipment on a protected website available at www.veecomarketplace.com. All equipment posted on the website is eligible for Veeco service, including pre-purchase assessments and logistical services, which are available exclusively through Veeco.

Entegris is offering enhanced ultra clean liquid filtration solutions for semiconductor fabs. The Torrento X Series is the first commercial nondewetting all PTFE filter with 10 nm particle retention for advanced wet etch and clean applications, as per Entegris

Nikon Corporation received “Best of West” Award for its NSR-S630D Immersion Scanner. NSR-S630D ArF Immersion Scanner enable 10/7 nm node.

On the regional news, this year India gets more visible at Semicon West asking for more investment in semiconductor fabs in India.

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