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ABI: Global semiconductor market to reach $298 billion

THE WORLDWIDE semiconductor market is expected to grow 3 percent from 2012 to 2013. This is according to ABI Research’s new “Worldwide Semiconductor Market -2Q13” Market Data report which tracks the market and market shares for the top 20 suppliers.

There has been sequential market growth from 1Q13 to 2Q13 and the vast majority of the top 20 vendors are expecting 3Q13 to experience revenue growth again.

“It has been a tough few years for the semiconductor industry. While we haven’t seen a dramatic decline in overall revenues since the 2008/2009 period the market has been pretty stagnant since 2010,” comments Peter Cooney, practice director.

He adds, “We will see some growth in 2013 as the wider economic environment improves but major market growth is not expected until later in 2014/early 2015.”

Consolidation continues to be rife in the industry: a number of major mergers

and acquisitions are expected to take place in the second half of 2013; these include the merger of Fujitsu and Panasonic semiconductor divisions and the acquisition of Elpida by Micron. There have also been many smaller M&A transactions such as Intel’s acquisition of ST-Ericsson GPS business and Broadcom’s acquisition of Renesas Mobile’s LTE assets as major vendors exit the mobile device semiconductor market.

“As the semiconductor market has been squeezed we have seen an increase in consolidation amongst the major players,” adds Cooney. “Margins are falling and the competitive environment is tough - especially in the mobile device market - this is driving vendors to re- evaluate their overall strategy and pull out of some of their once major markets.”

He concludes, “We have seen a number of major vendors exit the mobile device market - Freescale, TI, STMicroelectronics, and Renesas and we expect there are more to come.”

Entegris & SEMATECH collaborate

Entegris and SEMATECH have partnered to move forward the development of advanced nanoscale particle removal processes and cleaning technologies for next-generation wafers and devices.

This collaboration will address some of the profound changes taking place in the semiconductor industry that are impacting fundamental aspects of process and equipment design - as integration of new materials and process technology for sub-20nm node manufacturing, next-generation lithography requirements and the progression to 450mm wafers.

One key issue relates to the preparation of critical surfaces through the entire semiconductor manufacturing process. Entegris will work with experts from SEMATECH’s Nanodefect Centre to develop new technologies and solutions to reduce nano-scale particle contamination during wafer processing.

“We are pleased to partner with SEMATECH to provide early solutions for wafer surface cleaning,” says Bertrand Loy, president and CEO of Entegris. “Our goal is to leverage our contamination control expertise to develop filtration and particle detection methods for the most advanced cleaning processes.”

“SEMATECH’s Nanodefect Centre aims to build industry participation in detecting, modelling, characterising, and providing solutions for defect issues as geometries shrink below the 10nm node,” comments Michael Lercel, senior director of Nanodefectivity and Metrology.

“Our partnership with Entegris brings additional expertise to SEMATECH, and in turn will raise the level of our research efforts and further strengthen SEMATECH’s commitment in identifying the challenges of future technology nodes.”

12 Issue IV 2013

Finetech unveils high force bonder

FINETECH has developed a new high force configuration of its FINEPLACER pico ma platform targeting anisotropic conductive film (ACF) applications.

The tool achieves applied bonding forces of up to 700 N, which is critical to ensuring coherent and durable bonds between the chip and ACF to achieve higher signal densities and smaller overall packages.

Polymer-based ACF is used to create an electro-mechanical connection between two components. During ACF bonding, a combination of low temperature and high force is applied to the device, which activates the conductive spheres in the film.

ACF technology has traditionally been used in LCD or chip-on-glass (COG); additional target applications include flex-on-glass (FOG), flex-on- board (FOB), flex-on-flex (FOF), chip- on-flex (COF) and chip-on-board (COB). “This new configuration showcases the continued flexibility of Finetech’s FINEPLACER platform,” says Neil O’Brien, Director, Finetech USA. “ACF bonding faces unique challenges, such as high density interconnects in an enlarged bond area combined with multi chip settings.

Addressing these requirements necessitates a system with a reinforced mechanical structure capable of applying high bonding forces. The new pico ma configuration increases the FINEPLACER’s range of capabilities, further extending this modular bonding platform.” The high force bonder integrates a novel 700 N bonding force module as well as a new multi-chip transfer station and precision z-hub positioning table for high forces. The transfer station allows up to 4 components to be placed simultaneously and bonded with defined distances.

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