Semiconductor WEEK: An overview of results and conclusions from recent reports at VLSI.Chip Market Research ServicesVisibility remains limited as clouds hang in the horizon• Order activity for semiconductor equipment continued to trend lower, slipping below the 80-degree mark• With 2020 pretty much in the bag, the focus for both chipmakers and equipment suppliers has shifted to 2021 • VLSI’s Chip Price Performance Index ended the week flatSemiconductor AnalyticsLast Week in the Semiconductor Market:Semiconductor sales slid last week, but the 3Q20 Nowcast held at +20%. The steep 5 week decline in electronics prices appears to be bottoming, with Back-to-School strength in laptops. There's also strength in TVs, Appliances, and Digital Cameras due to COVID related component shortages.Semi Market results from last week: • Semiconductor Sales Nowcast: The 3Q20 Nowcast held at +20% • Semiconductor Weather1 Report: Warm, but Cooler• IC Supply-Demand2 Metrics: Loosening• Electronics Price Trend: BottomingChip History CenterSemiconductor 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.The Chip InsiderStrategy and Tactics: How Tariffs will Change Semiconductor Equipment. The COVID Boom: Is it too good to be true? Intel, IBM, GF, Aart de Geus and Terry Higashi.How Tariffs and Controls will Change Semiconductor Equipment: Economic Theory has labeled tariffs as bad policy for an economy since the days of Adam Smith. It was also in the days before currencies could be easily manipulated and industrial efficiency beat manual labor. As everyone knows today, currency manipulation is easily hidden and virtually impossible to discover; while free trade has made industrial efficiency available to everyone. Meanwhile, China’s unique blend of Communist Capitalism learned how to take advantage of this old economic system. We look into • Why tariffs are no longer thought of as bad • The statics and dynamics behind them• If they are here to stay• What the post-Globalization world is about• Is the era of China being the world’s manufacturing center over• What China’s doing about it• And moreThe COVID Boom: Is it too good to be true? COVID has been bouncing semiconductor and equipment forecasts around for months now. Sales have unexpectedly grown, as cloud networks and datacenters scrambled to expand data processing capacity to handle the new Work-At-Home-Economy, or WAHE. But the global economy was sunk into a deep downturn. So, is the macroeconomic bill for semiconductors in the mail? Should you be worried about the fourth quarter and 2021? What are the out-of-sample events fogging visibility into 2021? How the Trump Administration’s battle with China and Huawei factor in and more…What’s Happening and What’s the Meaning: Intel’s new semiconductor strategy. IBM’s next gen Power10 CPU. GLOBALFOUNDRIES 22FDX 5G mmWave chips. Aart de Geus and Terry Higashi.Semiconductor StocksVLSI's Semiconductor Stock Indices fell this week while the market hit a fresh new high for the year. • Semiconductors +3%• Equipment 0%• EDA +2%• Electronic Materials +1%.VLSI’s Semiconductor Stock Index was led up 2.6% by Western Digital, Micron, Infineon, ON Semiconductor, and Silicon Laboratories.IDM +5.0%Foundry & OSAT -0.1%Fabless & Fablite +2.6%VLSI’s Semiconductor Equipment Stock Index slipped 0.2%, BESI came out on top.WFE -0.4%Test -2.6%Assembly +2.1%VLSI’s EDA Stock Index was led up 1.7% by Synopsys.VLSI’s Electronics Materials Stock Index was led up 1.1% by BASF.Hottest Stocks: Western Digital, Micron, Infineon, BESI, ON Semiconductor, and Silicon Laboratories.