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    Artificial Intelligence in Semiconductor Equipment

      Andrea Lati

    Semiconductor WEEK: An overview of results and conclusions from recent reports at VLSI.

    Chip Market Research Services
    All eyes are focused on 2021
    • Order activity for semiconductor equipment declined for the second consecutive week amid growing uncertainty about the year ahead
    • Equipment companies had a great Q2 and a strong outlook for Q3
    • VLSI’s Chip Price Performance Index declined 0.4 points

    Customer Satisfaction Survey
    White Paper: ASML leading lithography supplier
    ASML, the leading supplier of lithography equipment, earns 5 VLSI Stars for third consecutive year.

    Semiconductor Analytics
    Last Week in the Semiconductor Market:
    Semiconductor sales have been at double-digit y/y growth rates for 6 weeks. The COVID slump finished forming an inverse W. The big question is: Will this counter-cyclicality continue with a soft 4Q? The signals for a drop are there: the bullhorn shape of the y/y growth channel and a roll-over of the 52-week Moving Average.
    Semi Market results from last week:
    • Semiconductor Sales Nowcast: 3Q20/3Q19: pulled back up to +20%
    • Semiconductor Weather1 Report: Warm, but Cooler
    • IC Supply-Demand2 Metrics: Loosening
    • Electronics Price Trend: Declining

    Chip History Center
    Time Line: Teradyne J259 IC Test System: This was the first truly computer-controlled IC test system. Introduced in 1966 it sported a DEC mini-computer. With a paper-tape reader and teletype as I/O it went for the astounding price of $58,500. It was a runaway best seller and established Teradyne’s position as a leader in the emergent IC testing market following a long-time leadership position in discrete testing.
    People: The Rise of ASML: Martin van den Brink, employee number 1 at ASML, describes what was like to take on lithography’s giants and win in this 2006 interview. At the time ASML was at the forefront of the productivity revolution and Europe’s Hi-Tech turnaround.

    The Chip Insider
    Strategy and Tactics: Artificial Intelligence in Semiconductor Equipment.
    Artificial Intelligence in Semiconductor Equipment: AI has made amazing progress in recent years due to a combination of its ability to solve complex problems and Moore’s Law delivering the compute power to make it cost effective. Problems costing millions of dollars to solve a decade ago can now be cost-effectively run in a GPU and it’s heading to an app processor near you. But AI has also become a PR bandwagon, where some propound it can be — or will be — better than humans at solving just about any problem. Now certainly, AI will be a great driver going forward, as John Kelly, Jensen Huang, and Gary Dickerson were the first to point out. But there’s a big difference between AI being a driver and it being smarter than humans. We look where it’s being successfully being applied in semiconductor equipment and critical subsystems, where AI is failing, and why. Also, rules for how and when to apply AI versus when one should use RI.
    Semiconductor Stocks
    VLSI's Semiconductor Stock Indices fell this week while the market hit a fresh new high for the year.
    • Semiconductors -2%
    • Equipment -4%
    • EDA +6%
    • Electronic Materials -4%.

    VLSI’s Semiconductor Stock Index fell 2.2% despite claiming five of the top six spots. NVIDIA was this week’s biggest winner after announcing better than expected quarterly results.
    IDM -4.1%
    Foundry & OSAT -4.7%
    Fabless & Fablite -0.5%
    VLSI’s Semiconductor Equipment Stock Index plunged 3.9%, ASM International came out on top.
    WFE -4.1%
    Test -4.8%
    Assembly -1.6%

    VLSI’s EDA Stock Index was led up 5.5% by Synopsys to a new yearly high.
    VLSI’s Electronics Materials Stock Index plunged 3.5%, SOITEC was the only positive this week.
    Hottest Stocks: NVIDIA, Synopsys, AMD, Cadence, Texas Instruments, Infineon, and Panasonic.

    Views: 1491
    Domain: Electronics
    Category: Semiconductors