In an effort to reduce costs further, loss making Axcelis Technologies has teamed with former ion implant rival, Applied Materials to use its Silicon Solutions division to provide customers in Japan with servicing and support functions. This will primarily entail its Optima range of ion implant tools and cleaning products.
"Partnering with Applied Materials' Global Services will allow Axcelis to immediately leverage Applied's expansive infrastructure and service expertise in Japan to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction,” commented Tadashi Toyoda, Axcelis Japan Country Manager. “The program will allow us to reduce costs and improve profitability, enabling us to focus on delivering world class semiconductor manufacturing technology and advancing our growth strategy in Japan."
"This agreement continues the advancement of Applied Materials' Service initiatives across the globe," noted Frank Nading, Applied Materials Silicon Solutions Managing Director.
Axcelis Technologies sold its 50% share in SEN Corporation of Japan to Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) for approximately US$132.6 million, due to declining sales and market share losses, which had seen the company struggle financially.
Axcelis had not made a licensing pact with SEN or Sumitomo over its 300mm single wafer implant tools, which suggests the new service pact with Applied, will primarily be for future sales into the Japanese market.
According to VLSI Research, Axcelis has been losing market share in the ion implant sector for many years and after the sales of its share in SEN earlier this year had less than 10% of the global implant market.