According to VLSIresearch, Applied Materials is no longer the leading semiconductor equipment supplier, a position it has held as a right of passage for three decades. Recent comments from Applied’s Mike Splinter, regarding the capital spending impact of lithography tools on the company’s available TAM, suggest he was merely softening the blow he already knew, as lithography supplier, ASML took the top honours in 2011, the first time it has done so in the history of the company.
The market research firm noted that despite the acquisition of ion implant market leader, Varian Semiconductor, Applied Materials the spending by leading IC manufacturers on next-generation immersion lithography overwhelmed these activities.
Overall, the leading 15 equipment suppliers grew 13% in 2011. The lithography equipment suppliers, ASML and Nikon, grew 27% combined, according to the market research firm a level more than twice the industry growth rate.