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The lowdown on the fab tool market

Posted: 23 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tool fab market? semiconductor IC? equipment processing?

2009 is off to a rough start for fab tool and materials vendors.

But some technologies!and companies!are doing better than others. Some are doing far worse.

Here's a list of the good, bad and ugly in this arena in 2009 so far, according to market research company The Information Network.

The list is segmented by different technologies, such as energy, LCDs, packaging, semiconductors, and others. The firm also lists a company that shines!or bombs!for a certain technology. Here's the list:

The good
*Equipment and materials for niche markets such as strip and clean (Company: Surface Chemistry Discoveries).

The ugly
*Equipment for standard IC processing (All fab-tool companies).

The good
*Equipment for thin silicon vias (TSVs) (Company: Semitool).
*Package design for 3-D TSV (Company: NXP Semiconductors).
*Equipment for wafer-level packaging (Company: NeXX Systems).

The bad
*Packaging technology for MCPs. Slowdown in mobile phone market (Company: Amkor).

Alternative energy
The good
*Deposition of cadmium telluride (CdTe) (Company: First Solar).
*Deposition of amorphous silicon on flexible substrates using roll-to-roll (Company: Unisolar).
*Metrology tools for solar panels (Company: Rudolph Technologies).
*Gases for solar (Company: Air Products).
*Design tools for semiconductors for alternative energy conversion (Company: Cadence).

The ugly
*Deposition of amorphous silicon on heavy rigid glass. A $2 billion market in 2008 drops to less than $1 billion in 2009 (Company: Applied Materials).

Hard-disk drives
The good
*Equipment and technology for discrete track recording (Company: Molecular Imprints).

The bad
*Equipment and materials for traditional perpendicular recording. Competing against flash and affected by a slow desktop market (Company: Fujitsu).

The good
*Nanomaterials for solar such as copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) (Company: NanoSolar).
*Nanomaterials for crystalline and polycrystalline wafer processing (Company: NanoSteel).
*Nanomaterials for DUV resists and slurries (Company: Rohm and Haas).

The bad
*Chemicals and materials for LCD production (Company: Corning).

The ugly
*Equipment for LCDs (Company: AKT).

The good
*Equipment for MEMS for 200mm wafers and smaller (Company: Tegal).
*Equipment and materials for RFID production (Company: Tegal).

The bad
*Equipment and materials for automotive. Slowdown in auto market (Company: EV Group).

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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