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.
Wall Street Journal
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.
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.
Chipmaking equipment company is adding local jobs for first time in three years as sales rebound.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dow Jones (via The Wall Street Journal)
"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..."
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.
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.
"The trouble is that you can't get tools (from ASML). The lead times have extended..."
"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.
AP (via Forbes)
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.
The Market Oracle
Applied Materials has opened its new Singapore Operations Center, Applied's first facility in Asia for manufacturing its advanced semiconductor equipment.
Channel News Asia
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.
Applied Materials has a balance sheet that can support additional acquisitions, some potentially larger than its US$364 million purchase of Semitool last year, CEO Mike Splinter said in an interview ahead of the company's annual meeting with analysts Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal
The largest semiconductor companies will need to shoulder much of the burden for the expensive R&D projects facing the chip industry, including the development of 450mm equipment and the inspection tools needed for EUV masks, said Dan Armbrust, the new CEO at Sematech.
Applied Materials topped the list of semiconductor equipment vendors for the eighteenth consecutive year in 2009, a year in which mere survival was noteworthy amid a painful recession and steep industry downturn, according to VLSI Research.
Applied Materials has ramped up its lobbying effort during the last three months of 2009, spending close to a half-million dollars trying to sway lawmakers on energy policy and other issues.
Applied Materials CFO George Davis recently remarked there is reason to think the second half will see orders from Tier 2 DRAM players, and from some additional segments of the market, in particular NAND flash.
The strong start prompted Applied Materials to brighten its outlook for the fiscal 2010. The company expects its sales to increase by more than 50%, up from its previous forecast of a 30% gain.
Prosecutors have arrested two executives from Applied Materials in Seoul, South Korea on charges of allegedly stealing Samsung process technology details and passing them on to Hynix.
EE Times India
"These comments beg the question how will the equipment market grow 50-plus-percent in 2010 with no new fabs and no new capacity additions, when it dropped nearly 50% in 2009 with no new fabs and no new capacity additions?"
China's Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) also made a payment to Applied Materials of an undisclosed amount, and the parties agreed to collaborate on projects in the future.
450mm production fabs could be pushed out to 2015 or 2016 - or two years later than some had hoped, according to analysts. And EUV may miss the insertion into the 16nm node, thereby pushing the technology out to the 13nm logic node in 2015.
We closed the year as planned with improved sales and strong bookings, as the semiconductor business recovers driven by technology and capacity buys from major Foundry customers and the memory market segments, according to ASML president and CEO Eric Meurice.
STMicroelectronics has joined the new industry/research multi-partner program IMAGINE, led by CEA-Leti, which includes TSMC, for mask-less lithography for IC manufacturing.
The world's largest maker of semiconductor lithography machines, which map out electronic circuits on silicon wafers, was forecast to report a further rise in bookings from the third quarter, driven by consumer spending on end products.
Vacuum technology firm Edwards is to cut 220 jobs in Sussex as it locates all its manufacturing operations overseas. The move marks a shift in strategy for the Crawley-headquartered company that had previously trumpeted its strong UK manufacturing base, which dates back to 1919.
The Financial Times
Vendors were hit hard by the downturn. 2010 looks better, but fab tool makers still face a number of challenges.
"We didn't buy immersion from Nikon according the filing. We still buy from ASML...
Having recently completed the acquisition of Singapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Globalfoundries is expected to launch the new, combined entity this week.
Answer: Yes and no.
EE Times India
Citing the fab tool recovery, Barclays Capital has raised its immersion lithography unit shipment estimate from 95 units to 105 units for 2010.
The Korean government and private sector will jointly inject 58.4 billion won (US$50.5 million) over the next three years into building up the local semiconductor manufacturing equipment sector, according to government officials.
The sector's recovery depends on what happens at the global climate change summit taking place in Copenhagen and incentives for the renewable resource in China, according to Mark Pinto, CTO and general manager of Applied's Energy and Environmental Solutions group.