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Tool Order: UMC ends conservative year of spending with a flurry

13 December 2011 | Wafer Processing
Taiwan-based foundry, UMC has kept a tight reign on capital spending in 2011, advising in the third quarter that CapEx would be restricted to US$1.8 billion. As the year draws to an end, UMC has announced tool purchases from ASML and Tokyo Electron worth approximately US$127 million, ending the year with a spending flurry. Read more >>

Worldwide semiconductor equipment bookings down 29% in third quarter

13 December 2011 | Wafer Processing
Worldwide semiconductor equipment bookings continued its strong decline in the third quarter of 2011, according to the latest figures from SEMI. Bookings were US$7.6 billion, down 38% from the same quarter a year ago and 29% lower than the bookings figure for the second quarter of 2011. Read more >>

Wackerâ??s Siltronic division to shut down wafer production site in Hikari, Japan

09 December 2011 | Fab Management
Siltronic wafersWacker Chemie subsidiary Siltronic has announced plans to cease wafer production at its Hikari, Japan facility in an effort to streamline its 200mm wafer production capacities. The facility will be shut down in mid-2012, and production volumes will be transferred to its 200mm wafer plants in Singapore and Portland, Oregon, US. Read more >>

MEMC cuts workforce by 20% in attempt to reduce operating costs

08 December 2011 | Materials and Gases
MEMCAn attempt to regain lost revenue has led to MEMC Electronic Materials’ decision to cut its global workforce by 20%, or over 1,300 employees. The cuts, only 250 of which will be from its US workforce, will see the company’s semiconductor segment reduced by 41% and its solar materials staff by approximately 47%. Among other activities, the company will also idle its 6,000MT Merano, Italy polysilicon facility, which it says it will close unless “dramatic feedstock, power and other cost reductions are achieved” in the near future. Read more >>

Samsung Austin Semiconductor ramps S2 fab in record time

06 December 2011 | Fab Management
Samsung Austin SemiconductorSamsung Austin Semiconductor’s 300mm automated fab, S2, has been ramped to volume production only five months after production of the first wafer. The fab has now reached the target capacity of 40,000 wspm following the initiation of the cleanroom construction in August 2010. The S2 line will be tasked with production of devices using Samsung’s low-power logic process technology at the 45nm node. Read more >>

Tool Order: EV Group ships IQ Aligner system to Asahi Kasei Group

06 December 2011 | Wafer Processing
EV Group's IQ AlignerWafer bonding and lithography equipment supplier EV Group has been tapped for one of its tools by Asahi Kasei E-Materials Corp. EV Group has shipped an IQ Aligner UV nanoimprint lithography (UV-NIL) system to the company, which will use the tool for development of materials for high-resolution wafer-level optics. Read more >>

IHS cuts semiconductor forecast to 1.2%

17 November 2011 | Fab Management
Rare to see a semiconductor forecast in this very low range, market research firm, IHS has revised 2011 figures to indicate growth of barely 1.2%, down from its previous forecast in September of 2.9%. Apparently, the lowered figure is still something the industry should take a positive considering the wider macro economics at the moment, according IHS. IHS noted that the primary market weighing down the semiconductor market is memory. DRAM, SRAM, NOR Flash memory—along with digital signal processors – are expected to generate revenue declines of 15% or more in 2011 and not much better in 2012 as all segments including NAND flash memory are projected to decline.
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Precipitous drop in semiconductor equipment bookings in September

21 October 2011 | Wafer Processing
Bookings took a bashing in September, according to the latest monthly book-to-bill figures released by SEMI. North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment booked only US$984 million in the month, down from US$1.162 billion in August, continuing a rapid decline that started in June, 2011. The bookings figure is 15.3% less than the final August 2011 level and is 40.4% below the US$1.65 billion in orders posted in September 2010. The decline in bookings on a quarter-to-quarter bases is approximately US$1.32 billion. Read more >>

Imec and ASML team on next-generation lithography for another 5 years

10 October 2011 | Lithography
One of the longest technology partnerships in the semiconductor industry is set to get longer after both imec and ASML agreed to extend work on both immersion and EUVL development, for a further 5 years. The agreement follows installations at imec’s 300mm R&D facility with ASML’s NXT1950i immersion tool and its NXE:3300B, the successor of ASML’s NXE:3100 preproduction tool that has been installed at imec, earlier this year. Read more >>

Japan helps lacklustre semiconductor sales growth in August

03 October 2011 | Fab Management
Semiconductor manufacturing recovery in Japan and the subsequent boost to overall semiconductor sales helped slightly in August, according to the latest SIA monthly figures. Worldwide sales of semiconductors were US$25.03 billion in August, up 0.7% from the prior month when sales were US$24.9 billion and basically flat since June figures were released. Read more >>