- 6 May 2011: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.
- 4 May 2011: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.
- 21 Apr 2011:The company said its customers are asking for a higher number of shipments in the second half of calendar year 2011, compared with the first half. Analysts view Lam's top customer, Samsung Electronics', recent decision to cut capital spending as hurting its fourth-quarter results.
- 14 Apr 2011:ASML has said first-quarter orders fell 27% as clients took more time to place orders because of disruptions by the Japanese earthquake. The quake is hurting the business of some ASML clients.
- 6 Apr 2011: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.
- 28 Mar 2011:LTX-Credence has terminated plans to buy Verigy after accepting a US$15 million payment to end the agreement. The termination fee was received March 25, LTX-Credence said in a statement.
- 24 Mar 2011:Citigroup analyst Timothy Arcuri asserted in a research note that that FormFactor has received a "major order" from Elpida Memory for wafer probe cards.
- 22 Mar 2011:Verigy has said that an acquisition offer from Advantest is better than an earlier deal Verigy made to buy rival LTX-Credence. Advantest is offering US$15 per share for Verigy. Based on Verigy's 60.7 million outstanding shares as of March 1, the deal is worth US$910.8 million.
- 7 Mar 2011:Nova Measuring Instruments has announced that three major foundries recently placed US$12 million orders for its integrated and standalone metrology tools. The tools will support manufacturing and development for both the 4x and 3x technology nodes, and are expected to ship within the first and second quarters of 2011.
- 25 Feb 2011:"Applied's solid first quarter was driven by continued strength in semiconductor systems and record profitability in solar," said Mike Splinter, company chairman and CEO. "We see momentum building in our end markets and expect our company's fiscal year revenue to be more than US$11 billion, exceeding our previous record by over a billion dollars."
- 20 Jan 2011:The fab tool industry has undergone a sea of change...
- 19 Jan 2011:ASML said it expects first-quarter net sales this year of about 1.4 billion euros (US$1.88 billion), and said the company has the potential for 2011 sales of more than five billion euros. Sales in 2010 rose to 4.51 billion euros.
- 10 Dec 2010:ASML now expects fourth-quarter bookings to be above two billion euro. "NAND flash memory investments for the high volume ramp of new technologies and foundry/logic commitments for new strategic fab projects are driving brisk lithography demand for 2011..."
- 3 Dec 2010:The milestone has been reached by an XT:870 and an XT:400 , which are in operation at two different customer sites in Asia and which have raised the bar for 300mm lithography productivity.
- 1 Dec 2010:For 2011, the fab tool growth will be driven by foundry and NAND to offset a "pause in DRAM" ...
- 30 Nov 2010:Applied Materials and Samsung Electronics have reached a settlement agreement that resolves potential civil claims and removes the risk of civil litigation between the parties relating to the alleged acquisition, misappropriation and misuse of Samsung's confidential semiconductor information in Korea.
- 26 Nov 2010:Verigy has reported a profit for the August-October period, as higher sales of semiconductor test systems helped it come back from a loss a year earlier. The company's guidance fell short of Wall Street's expectations, however.
- 21 Nov 2010:"Capex will go up when our customers see the potential of the market. It will go down when it's not there. Every discussion we've had with customers indicates capex will not go down (next year)," ASML CFO Wennink said.
- 18 Nov 2010:The equipment vendor has commented that DRAM companies are expected to scale back their spending "considerably" throughout 2011, and investments in LCD technology will likely be weak for at least a couple of quarters.
- 8 Sep 2010:Don't look now, but a fab tool downturn could be on the horizon.
- 31 Aug 2010:There appears to be a sudden slowdown in the cell-phone, LCD, LED, PC and other product segments - a trend that impacts chipmakers. And chip inventories are on the rise. Still, VLSI Research has raised its chip and fab tool forecasts for 2010.
- 20 Aug 2010:Verigy, which makes products that test flash memory, high-speed computer memory chips and SoC devices, previously posted seven straight quarters of red ink, though recent losses had narrowed.
- 12 Aug 2010:The mid-year edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast predicts that sales of global semiconductor equipment are growing in all regions in 2010. Taiwan is again, projected to be the largest market with US$9.18 billion.
- 4 Aug 2010:Chip equipment maker UMS, which counts Applied Materials as its biggest client, will boost capacity utilisation to 85% in the third quarter from 65% in a booming industry.
- 27 Jul 2010:Chipmaking equipment company is adding local jobs for first time in three years as sales rebound.
- 22 Jul 2010:Applied Materials has announced it will stop new sales of its "turnkey" SunFab thin-film solar manufacturing line and concentrate on silicon solar and LED lighting. The restructuring of its Energy and Environmental Solutions business will lead to the elimination of 400-500 positions and a third-quarter charge between US$375-425 million.
- 19 Jul 2010:Applied Materials "has not made a dent in the mask shop," said Brian Trafas, chief marketing officer at KLA-Tencor. "They have a few systems in the fab, but it's a small share."
- 14 Jul 2010:KLA-Tencor has increased its regular quarterly dividend to US$0.25 a share from US$0.15. "KLA-Tencor's strong cash flows and solid balance sheet provide us the financial flexibility to return significant cash to our shareholders while also providing the capacity to fuel our growth initiatives," said CEO Rick Wallace.
- At an analyst briefing at the Semicon West trade show, Applied Materials indicated that it now expects 140% on-year revenue growth for its semiconductor equipment business for the October 2010 fiscal year, an increase from the company's previous forecast of 120% growth.
- 13 Jul 2010:Novellus Systems posted quarterly results above expectations, helped by a surge in bookings and shipments. The chip-gear maker has reported net profits of US$63.3 million for the second quarter compared with losses of US$50 million a year ago.
- 8 Jun 2010:At the beginning of this year, it was clear that only a few companies would spend more than US$1 billion each in 2010. This has suddenly changed: some companies have announced record levels of capex plans.
- 26 May 2010:Aixtron and Veeco dominate what's known as the MOCVD market for LED applications and have been seeing strong demand amid increasing display sales for items such as TVs. But some investors have worried demand and bookings could soon weaken as the LED market sees excess supply.
- 20 May 2010:"Applied's stronger second quarter results were led by revenues and profitability gains in our silicon and FPD businesses," said Mike Splinter, chairman and CEO of Applied Materials. "Global demand for computing and consumer electronics is giving our customers the confidence to make significant capacity additions, fueling what we believe will be a multiyear growth cycle..."
- 6 May 2010:TSMC, working with ASML and Mapper, have developed a prototype multi-e-beam tool for semiconductor lithography, according to company CTO Jack Sun speaking to the International Electronics Forum 2010 in Dresden.
- 25 Apr 2010:Lithography light source vendor Cymer swung to net profits of US$16 million in the first quarter of 2010 compared to losses of US$11.5 million a year earlier.
- 16 Apr 2010:"The trouble is that you can't get tools (from ASML). The lead times have extended..."
- 14 Apr 2010:"We booked one billion euro worth of orders in the first quarter of 2010 and expect a similar level of bookings in the second quarter," said ASML CEO Eric Meurice.
- Pinto is the first CTO to actually relocate to China, which in itself is a watershed event, but also shows how important China is to Applied Materials and the changing landscape of technology investing.
- Applied Materials has opened its new Singapore Operations Center, Applied's first facility in Asia for manufacturing its advanced semiconductor equipment.
- 9 Apr 2010:Nanda Technologies has raised US$4 million from Capital-E and KfW working alongside existing shareholders. The company said it will use the money to support pre-production evaluations at semiconductor manufacturers.
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