After strong gains in 2010 and 2011, power transistor sales fell more than 8% in 2012 to US$12.3 billion primarily due to weak economic growth and high levels of uncertainty, which caused equipment makers to rein in semiconductor purchases, according to IC Insights.
Fab equipment spending for front-end facilities is expected to be flat in 2013, remaining around US$31.7 billion, increasing to US$39.3 billion in 2014 - a 24% increase.
Wireless is set to be the leading growth segment for semiconductor spending among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in 2013, with expenditures rising by a double-digit margin to support the burgeoning markets for smartphones, tablets and mobile infrastructure gear, according to IHS iSuppli.
KLA-Tencor posted fiscal first-quarter revenue below expectations and said current-quarter revenue would fall more as chipmakers, worried about the economy, hold off on new orders of manufacturing equipment.
Dutch semiconductor-manufacturing equipment maker ASML said Wednesday it sees weak demand in memory chips, and adjusted its second half net sales guidance to the lower end of its earlier EUR2.2 billion-EUR2.4 billion range.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
French telecom vendor Alcatel-Lucent will cut about 1,000 jobs in India as part of its global restructuring effort to cope with dwindling demand for network equipment among telcos in the country.
Applied Materials has has signed an enhanced two-year contract with Globalfoundries to service all Applied Materials equipment at its Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany.
The Nikkei Shimbun, Japan's economic newspaper, reported that Nikon is going to work with Intel to develop the next generation semiconductor manufacturing equipment capable of handling 450mm wafers.
The company also revised its calendar year 2012 industry forecast for wafer fab equipment spending to US$30-33 billion, compared to its previous expectation of US$32-35 billion, in line with the market changes.
Wieberneit has spent more than twenty years in the consumer and communication semiconductor space, serving in different R&D, CTO and GM positions at Trident Microsystems, Micronas and Infineon Technologies.
ASML dropped the most in six months after Europe's biggest semiconductor equipment maker didn't provide guidance for future orders in its first-quarter results.
Australia's government has banned Chinese technology giant Huawei from bidding to help build a high-speed Internet network amid concerns about cyber attacks traced to China. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Monday the move was among "prudent decisions" her government had to make to ensure the planned network functions properly.
AP (via Washington Post)
Atomic Precision Systems (APS), a little-known semiconductor equipment vendor specializing in deposition technology, has filed a patent infringement suit against Intel, IBM and Micron Technology claiming that they willfully infringed on an atomic layer deposition (ALD) patent held by APS, according to a statement issued by the company's law firm Tuesday.
Leading electronic equipment manufacturers remained the center of the semiconductor world in 2011, accounting for US$105.6 billion of semiconductors on a design total available market basis - 35% of semiconductor vendors' worldwide chip revenue, according to Gartner.
Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML said Wednesday it expects a healthy start to 2012, as its customers invest in chip production to drive faster and more powerful smartphones and tablets.
Wall Street Journal
After several years of rapid capacity expansion driven by high-brightness LED used in TV backlighting applications, a 40% decline in world metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) purchases in 2012 will reduce overall LED equipment spending for the first time in over five years.
GT Advanced Technologies and Saudi Arabia-based Polysilicon Technology (PTC) have signed a US$47.7 million deal, which will see GT supply its SDR 400 reactors to PTC.
Many next generation products from the display industry designed to overcome the recession, caught the attention of the spectators. Components and equipment manufacturers also were busy enthusiastically showing their new technology to foreign buyers.
Korea IT Times
"Michael Woodford has largely diverted from the rest of the management team in regard to the management direction and method and it is now causing problems for decision-making by the management team," the company said in a statement.
Linear, which makes semiconductors for industrial equipment and luxury cars, ranked above Microsoft and Apple - two companies with market valuations that are 30 to 50 times larger.
Verigy, an Advantest Group company, has announced that the company has reached a major milestone with the installation of its 2,500th V93000 system-on-chip (SoC) test platform. The milestone shipment is part of a multi-system order from Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE).
Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter told analysts on a conference call that he is now expecting chipmakers to spend US$1 billion less on new equipment than the company forecast in July. "We've seen demand from our foundry customers soften significantly in the past six weeks," Splitner said.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
The price of polysilicon, the main raw material in photovoltaic panels, rose in August for the first time in five months, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said solar-equipment makers are poised for recovery.
"We are seeing significant near term declines in wafer fab equipment spending, and as result our September quarter shipments, revenues and earnings per share will be well below our June quarter results," Lam Research CEO Steve Newberry said.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
Several large sapphire furnace orders have helped GT Solar to almost double its equipment order backlog guidance from approximately US$1 billion to US$1.6 billion. However, technical upgrades offered to existing customers of DSS650 furnaces are tracking ahead of schedule, enabling GT Solar to raise revenue guidance for the current quarter to approximately, US$225 million, up from previous guidance of between US$140 million - US$150 million.
GT Solar International Inc of Merrimack, NH, USA (a provider of polysilicon production technology as well as sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets) has reported revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter (ended 2 April) of $271.6m, up 3.3% on $262.9m last quarter and 40% on $194.7m a year ago. Revenue by business segment was $79.2m in polysilicon, $186m in photovoltaic (PV), and $6.4m in sapphire (all of which was sapphire materials revenue).
Applied Materials reported a fiscal second-quarter profit that nearly doubled from the year-earlier period, as the company saw stronger sales of semiconductor capital equipment. But shares of the company slipped nearly 2% in after-hours trading after it posted a weaker-than-anticipated outlook.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
Applied Materials's US$4.9 billion purchase of Varian Semiconductor may trigger a round of acquisitions in the chip-machinery industry, making companies such as Novellus Systems possible targets.
Applied Materials and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates have announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which Applied will acquire Varian for US$63 per share in cash. The acquisition will extend Applied's leadership in wafer fabrication equipment with the addition of the technology leader in ion implantation.
The worldwide semiconductor equipment market grew 143% in 2010 to nearly US$41 billion as the market recovered from the industry slowdown of the previous two years, according to Gartner.
Hynix Semiconductor will collaborate with engineers in Sematech's 3D Interconnect program at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex to address industry infrastructure and technology gaps in materials, equipment, integration and product-related issues for high-volume adoption of through-silicon-vias (TSV).
Toshiba has developed a new flip-flop circuit using 40nm CMOS process that the company claims will reduce power consumption in mobile equipment. Measured data verifies that the power dissipation of the new flip-flop is up to 77% less than that of a conventional flip-flop and that it achieves a 24% reduction in total power consumption when applied to a wireless LAN chip.
CSR and Zoran have entered into a merger agreement under which Zoran will merge with CSR for an equity value equivalent to approximately US$679 million. The merged company will provide differentiated, integrated technology that addresses the rapidly-growing market for connected, location-aware multimedia devices including handsets, digital cameras and home entertainment equipment.
Huawei Technologies Co., China's largest telecommunications equipment maker, won a court order barring Motorola Solutions Inc. from disclosing confidential information about Huawei's technology to Nokia Siemens Networks, which plans to buy Motorola's wireless networks business.
The pending acquisition of Motorola's mobile telecom equipment arm by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), which is pending approval by China's Ministry of Commerce, would make it more difficult for domestic rivals Huawei Technologies and ZTE to enter the US market, an analyst said.