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    SemiWEEK: Government wafer fabs a Glut?; Stocks were mixed

      Andrea Lati

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

    Chip Market Research Services
    It's hot! But is it overheated?
    • Order activity for semiconductor equipment continued to heat up, jumping to a sizzling 103 degrees
    • Visibility for equipment suppliers has stretched into 2022 as chipmakers rush to add capacity to alleviate shortages
    • VLSI’s Chip Price Performance turned lower
    Semiconductor Analytics
    Last Week in the Semiconductor Market:
    Semiconductor sales rose last week, though the w/q growth is cooling substantially. The IC weather was mixed as it cooled 2?F for the week. Focusing on last week’s NAND picture, both y/y sales growth and its MA ran around 20% last week. DRAM and Auto ICs continued to have the strongest growth last week, followed by Logic, Analog & Power, with NAND in the rear.
    Semi Market results from last week:
    • Semiconductor Weather1 Report: The IC weather was mixed as it cooled 2?F for the week.
    • Wafer Fab Production Levels: held in Shortage conditions, but IDMs pulled back.
    • IC Supply-Demand2 Metrics: opened 2Q21 in Shortage conditions.
    • Electronics Prices are showing signs of bottoming on a weekly basis.

    The Chip Insider

    Strategy and Tactics: Government wafer fabs a Glut?

    How many government-subsidized wafer fabs does it take to create a capacity glut: This is almost a “how many xxx does it take to screw in a lightbulb” joke. But it’s no joke and is a serious concern for everyone. There are rampant fears of double ordering being rampant throughout the industry and government-subsidized wafer fabs adding fuel to the fire. Now we know that at least 24 countries can afford to build a wafer fab if they wanted to... If we convert VLSI’s equipment forecast into GigaFab equivalents with all the WFE, Test, and Assembly equipment needed to support 2025’s level of production it actually falls short of the new fabs needed between now and then… The bottom line about all these fabs is … If they build them, they will fill them.

    Chip History Center
    Semiconductor Equipment Too Expensive: Circa 1978 … Wafer fab costs skyrocketing out of control. Predictions of a tool costing $1B. And yet, they'll still make money. This Electronic News article addresses a constantly recurring issue in Integrated Circuit history: that semiconductor equipment costs are skyrocketing out of control. Mentioned are the rise in process steps, new wafer sizes, lithography tool prices for which he was fairly accurate in his projections. But the projection of a single tool costing >$1B was never to be. Read this to find out which tool might command this exorbitant price.
    Maskless Lithography: Circa 1977 ... IBM’s EL-1: a milestone in e-beam lithography and semiconductor history. This Electronics article marks a milestone that heralds the recurring dream that direct-write lithography using an electron beam would someday replace masks and optical lithography. The specs of this system show just how good IBM research is as an institution. Achieving a square beam was a major breakthrough. Its registration accuracy was better than half that of any optical aligner in its day. It was needed to ensure lines could be stitched together. Most important was its throughput of 22 wafers-per-hour, which brought IBM’s EL-1 closest to displacing optical.
    Semiconductor Stocks
    VLSI's Semiconductor Stock Indices were mixed this week while the market gave back 0.1%.
    • Semiconductors -0.0%
    • Equipment +1.4%
    • EDA -1.2%
    • Electronic Materials -3.6%

    VLSI’s Semiconductor Stock Index finished flat this week with UMC, IBM, and MediaTek claiming three of the top six stock spots.
    IDM -2.7%
    Foundry & OSAT +2.7%
    Fabless & Fablite +0.2%
    VLSI’s Semiconductor Equipment Stock Index was led up by ASM Pacific Technology who was this week’s biggest winner after announcing record bookings in Q1 2021. Veeco Instruments and Kulicke & Soffa were also top performers this week.

    WFE +0.4%
    Test -0.5%
    Assembly +5.4%

    VLSI’s EDA Stock fell.
    VLSI’s Electronics Materials Stock Index decreased with Shin-Etsu being the only company to finish in positive territory.
    Hottest Stocks: ASM Pacific Technology, UMC, Veeco Instruments, IBM, Kulicke & Soffa, and MediaTek.
    Views: 500
    Domain: Electronics
    Category: Semiconductors