- 13 Aug 2011:China is putting a competitive squeeze on some of its partners that still use the mainland as a source of low-cost design and manufacturing. Good Will Instrument, a 700-person test and measurement company in Taiwan, is just one of the companies feeling the pinch.
- 29 Jul 2011:Orders have stalled over the past couple of weeks as semiconductor companies pull back on expansion plans, according to KLA-Tencor. Orders in the fiscal first quarter, which ends in September, will fall as much as 45% from the prior quarter.
- "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.
- 22 Jul 2011:This particular poker game had a twist - the ante went up every hand and you had to play every hand. If you left the table, you were out of the game. Does the analogy hold true today?
- 14 Jul 2011:3M has announced the completion of a major expansion of 3M's development laboratory and cleanroom located at its headquarters in Saint Paul, Minn. The expansion includes a 300mm CMP tool and defect metrology for product and application development.
- 13 Jul 2011:Dutch chip lithography manufacturer ASML reported strong sales in the second quarter, but said new orders in the third quarter would be significantly lower, lending weight to reports of slowdowns in the semiconductor industry.
- "What foundries are seeing more and more, and what we're seeing overall, is a very tight linkage to consumer demand. All of us are disappointed with demand for PCs this year, and tablets probably will be 20 million units short of what people thought was possible for the year..."
- 7 Jul 2011:Applied Materials has announced a trio of new systems designed to boost performance in the next generations of DRAM chips. These innovative systems overcome key challenges in fabricating the transistor and contact areas of memory chips.
- 25 May 2011: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.
- 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.
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