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Semicon measurement segment tops industry growth

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor metrology? inspection equipment? VLSI?

According to The Information Network, the semiconductor metrology/inspection equipment market grew 24.8 percent last year while overall semiconductor equipment grew only 9.3 percent. The report titled "Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control in VLSI Manufacturing" revealed that this is the third time in 10 years that the growth of the segment has exceed that of the industry.

Historically, sales of process control tools have mirrored sales of the entire front-end equipment market. Prior to 2003, metrology/inspection sales outperformed the overall front-end equipment market in six out of eight years.

process control market

The semiconductor metrology/inspection equipment market grew 24.8 percent last year while overall semiconductor equipment grew only 9.3 percent.

In 2006, metrology/inspection revenues grew 14.5 percent compared to 23.2 percent for the total front-end equipment sector. In 2007, metrology/inspection revenues grew 8.4 percent compared to 10.6 percent for the total front-end equipment sector. In 2008, metrology/inspection revenues decreased 19.3 percent while the total front-end equipment sector decreased 33 percent. In 2009, metrology/inspection revenues decreased 46.3 percent while the total front-end equipment sector decreased 42.4 percent.

Semiconductor yields reached a level that sampling of wafers was relaxed in 2006, as end users (semiconductor manufacturers) found ways to minimize capital expenditures. Last year, the top three metrology/inspection suppliers were KLA-Tencor, Hitachi High Tech and Applied Materials.





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