Online information source for semiconductor professionals

Editor's Blog

The blog is written by Semiconductor Fabtech's Editor-in-Chief, Mark Osborne. Mark is also the Senior News Editor for Photovoltaics International and the PV-Tech website. He has launched multiple technology titles in print and online covering manufacturing in the automotive, shipping, semiconductor and solar sectors in a publishing career spanning three decades. Mark started blogging in 2005, the first technology editor to do so and has worked online since 1996. A veteran manufacturing technology journalist and editor, Mark as been responsible for a series of innovative formats for delivering technical content to an engineering-based audience.

Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Reports: END OF AN ERA

28 July 2011
There will be no further quarterly conference calls from VSEA, and that includes for the benefit of myself and anyone else that is interested in the ion implant space - to compare and contrast the niche but fascinating area of this semiconductor technology area. Read more >>

SEMICON West: Losing a job I didnā??t know I had lost!

07 July 2011
It’s that time of year again, when bags are packed and the semiconductor suppliers head-off to San Francisco for SEMICON West. Though not attending myself this year, due to an inconsiderate eldest daughter being in a stage show in London next week, I did find out that I have been sacked from a job I had undertaken for a few years that is organised by SEMI in conjunction with SEMICON West. Read more >>

If you canā??t beat them buy them!

04 May 2011
Big news today is that ion implant market leader Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates is to be acquired by Applied Materials for approximately US$4.9 billion.
Though this is most definitely a semiconductor play for Applied, it does raise some issues over Applied’s motives as Varian launched the Solion implanter to the solar manufacturing industry a year ago, having poured significant capital into developing the technology. Read more >>

Intel to go revolutionary

26 April 2011
Otellini’s revolutionary comments were on the back of announcing they would increase capital spending in 2011 by a further US$1.0 billion. Much of that added spending would directed at the 14nm node though some would be allocated to ramp at the 22nm node that bit bigger as demand was proving extremely strong for its latest MPU’s. Read more >>

Guest blog: A Perspective on the Impact of Japanā??s Disaster

30 March 2011
Bill McClean, IC InsightsThis guest blog was provided by Bill McClean, IC Insights, covering new analysis of the impact on the semiconductor industry from the recent disasters in Japan. One thing we have learned in over 30 years of analyzing the semiconductor market is that when the forecasting environment is at its most confusing state (e.g., the memory market bubble of 1984, the internet bubble of 2001, the financial collapse of 2008/2009, etc.), the best thing to do is go back to basics. Read more >>

It all goes Pete Tong for Nikon!

29 March 2011
VLSI Research has announced its Top 10 wafer fab equipment supplier rankings for 2010 and its not one company’s position that hits you with a sledge hammer but its growth in terms of percentage compared to 2009. As the headline states clearly (though the cockney rhyme may not) Nikon is has had a terrible time against its nemesis, ASML. Read more >>

Could energy supply be the near-term issue for Japanese IC industry?

15 March 2011
In what is clearly a lucky break for the majority of the semiconductor industry in Japan, the massive earthquake and tsunami that followed has not been directly disruptive as it could have been. Having collected official statements from countless company websites since last Friday’s initial earthquake (those will get added to the top story running report tomorrow), few facilities are out of action. But? Read more >>

Taiwan DRAM consolidation takes unusual twist

01 February 2011
Lane Mason, Objective AnalysisThis guest blog has been written by Lane Mason and Jim Handy of semiconductor market research firm, Objective Analysis.

On January 31st, Elpida Memory announced an agreement under which it would purchase all of Powerchip's DRAM output. The agreement is intended to allow Elpida to expand its production capacity without capital expenditures.  Powerchip will phase out its own branded DRAMs and Elpida will purchase all of its commodity PC DRAM production from Powerchip.  Elpida's 300mm Hiroshima fab will allocate its capacity away from commodity DRAMs towards Mobile DRAMs. Read more >>

TSMC and 450mm wafers: Chang goes ka-ching

27 January 2011
Muted references by Intel that its recently announced D1X Fab would 450mm capable is starting to look more like 'doable' if you take veteran leader of TSMC, Morris Chang at his word. Speaking in a conference call with financial analysts, Chang was in pumped-up mode after a capacity sold-out year and expectations of the same this year. Read more >>

What wafer size will Intelā??s D1X be?

26 October 2010 | Comments (1)
Hats off to C.J. Muse the semiconductor analyst at Barclays Capital for contemplating that Intel’s new fab, D1X could be primed to be its first 450mm fab.  Full details of the speculation can be viewed here at EETimes.  The fact that Intel said very little about its most significant new fab expansion plan in many years certainly adds fuel to the conspiracy theories. Read more >>