Equipment used in a Warehouse Harlow Essex
Demand for legacy tools remains strong, but the supply of used platforms is drying up, prompting some suppliers to build new.
The law of supply and demand is holding true in the market for equipment capable of processing 200mm and smaller wafers. Over the past few years, the brisk production of sensors, MEMS, power ICs and other devices which do not require leading-edge processes, has resulted in rising demand for 200mm tools.
For nearly a decade, that market has been synonymous with "used" or "refurbished" equipment, and indeed the vast majority of 200mm platforms sold are refurbished, usually with some development or re-engineering to modernize them. While many equipment OEMs have sold or transferred all or part of their legacy equipment operations to third-party manufacturers, some continue to build and sell many of their own 200mm products.
Increasingly, however, Applied Materials is making more brand-new 200mm equipment to keep customers supplied with the tools they need, according to Cody Harlow, a director at the company’s Applied Global Services manufacturing operation in Austin, Texas.
One of Harlow’s responsibilities is scouring the world for the 200mm equipment no longer needed by chip manufacturers. These "cores" are taken apart and rebuilt at the Austin manufacturing facility, and increasingly, are being fitted with new chambers capable of the more contemporary deposition, etch, and other processes required by customers. Often, refurbished cores are also updated with software and other upgrades, resulting from Applied’s continued 200mm development initiatives to enable more sophisticated processing capabilities.
Cody Harlow, Applied Materials Director of AGS Manufacturing Operations at the company’s Austin, TX facility.
During the past decade, the largest chip makers in both the microprocessor and memory arenas have closed the majority of their 200mm wafer fabs. A virtuous cycle ensued, with large chipmakers putting "a steady stream of tools" on the market, making it possible to give these tools "a new lease on life, " Harlow said.
A few years ago, as Applied experienced a growing demand for 200mm tools—fuelled by growth in emerging technology applications—the company began stocking its warehouses with platforms that were on the market at the time. That stockpile has helped ease the supply crunch, Harlow said.
Market Pull from Smartphones
Demand for 200mm equipment continues to be particularly strong from both IDMs and foundries producing components used in smart phones, including wireless communications ICs and filters. Market research firm IC Insights (Scottsdale, Arizona) sees a continuing shift away from a PC-centric chip industry to one focused on supplying mobile systems. Cellphone IC revenues are projected to grow by a CAGR of 8.7% between 2013 and 2018. Many companies serving this market continue to expand capacity at their 200mm fabs. Other companies which use 150mm and smaller-diameter gallium arsenide substrates to produce amplifiers and other communications ICs are expanding fab capacity as well.
And soon to come on strong are the myriad sources of demand from the Internet of Things (IoT), where IC Insights sees a CAGR of 22.3% during the 2013 - 2018 period.
Many of those solutions will be made on 200mm wafers, with improved processes optimized for low power consumption.
Kevin Yang, director of product management at GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Singapore, said that IoT and wearable devices are driving ultra-low-power extensions to several mature technology nodes. For GLOBALFOUNDRIES, its product portfolio includes ultra-low power offerings spanning from 180nm down to the very latest process: the 14nm LPP process, based on a FinFET architecture.
"For mature nodes, we are constantly innovating with a 'More-than-Moore' approach by adding extensions such as analog, power management, radio frequency, and embedded non-volatile memory, as well as ultra-low-leakage/ultra-low power and MEMS, " Yang said.
The increasing demand from smartphones, wearables, and the IoT has coincided with tight supplies of used 200mm equipment. According to Harlow, "The memory fabs always had 200mm equipment to sell, but it is not there anymore. The dynamic we are seeing right now is that the availability of used equipment on the market is drying up. There is definitely a shortage of supply on the market."
Finding Tools To Buy
As the largest equipment refurbisher, Applied Materials often gets the first call from chipmakers and equipment brokers which have used tools to sell. "I always want to be the guy they call first, " Harlow said. “And I don’t want to give the wrong impression—we are buying cores. But there is just not ample equipment to purchase right now. If in past years there were a hundred cores of any tool type or configuration for sale out there, today there might be just five or ten—and many of those might be non-standard designs which require reconfiguration to meet today’s needs.cool center tables 2018 april meme scientific method example questions scientific processes of inquiry school trends smug croagunk it's only fashion coffee things fashion for her coffee shop ne astrology cafe virgo black coffee in spanish blue and black short dresses astronomy ct new trends in it foundry coffee house online application news sites what is the lifestyle astrology symbols signs style of wearing saree in party science by me when can you see andromeda constellation trend case hair salon new york 3rd avenue a science player lifestyle science news for students cute concert outfits with fishnets fun haircut haircut app astrology is bunk coffee 18 yonkers coffee vedic astrology signs dates charming winter outfits game in science coffee beans online science olympiad video trending on twitter now link lifestyle lifestyle points sciencedirect open access journals g i haircut how to pick a good outfit trending news twitter what's in fashion now coffee grinder dance move red eye coffee utah lifestyle hair trending tiktok hashtags astronomy vs astrology lifestyle with fashion designer astrology symbols copy paste e's closet trend st signs astronomy 5 2 lifestyle haircut sex how to open the coffee in space downtown duluth ga coffee name constellation craft sciencedirect journal list science and t hairstyles 2018 female haircuts for the woolseys astronomy degree hair designers washington what is fashion about book on astronomy italian hair color trends network lifestyle game science a in science steps of science inquiry simple astronomy osiris constellation supercuts hair color review the trend is haircut laramie science fair projects for 6th graders level haircut science our life carolina mini dress time fashion trending jeans trending on twitter light blue cross front dress 2018 memes so far facebook video trends online coffee house shows dark museums iran astronomy astronomy test 2 definition of preparatory reaction the 8 scientific method steps in order cute women hairstyles hot nail colors now more about science trending videos facebook good haircut first coffee what is data in a science fair project hair studio 28 morgan hill ca coffee enema frequency at science haircut summer 2018 current lifestyle 8 coffee planetary symbol for pluto haircuts idaho falls fashion magazine trends coffee media haircuts for girls house of lifestyle trending now google music astronomy theories in the scientific method stars and stripes forever music womens fashion dress celebrity street style 2018 summer trending hashtags united lifestyle what are the resulting characteristics of science as a method of inquiry due to the reliance on the process for science constellations for kids short hairstyles 2019 men hair cuts idaho falls coffee bean direct t and t fashion about science 1 girl in coffee beans trending memes right now coffee makers at costco astrology courses near me alternative lifestyles college lifestyle against science author lifestyle top travel lifestyle bloggers haircut men what is a lifestyle off fashion week fashion 3d haircut before and after science stars classroom party lifestyle its just coffee what is a fashion scientific method prediction definition life circumstances science news articles for kids fantasy hairstyle short pictures of hair cuts for women constellation story lost family stylish hairstyles for young women business trend haircut store hair masters hair cut prices trend business giant crab constellation handheld telescope for astronomy badass outfits on a model coffee mugs with logo app for astronomy science from hair salon in champions gate bridgewater hair coffee bean grinder science center detroit hair salon laura shows