Executive Viewpoints from SEMICON Taiwan
Overview of Equipment and Materials Forecasts; Taiwan Looks Forward to 2012
The capital equipment market in Taiwan is expected to continue its investment momentum reaching over US$ 10 billion in both 2011 and 2012, which will again make Taiwan the single largest semiconductor equipment market in the world. The importance of the market was demonstrated on September 6 at the SEMICON Taiwan 2011 press conference. Industry leaders from Applied Materials, ASE, ATMI, Epistar, KYEC, STMicroelectronics and TSMC participated with SEMI in an overview of the semiconductor market.
Mr. Mike Liang, president and CEO of KYEC shared his observation on the semiconductor industry, “The overall semiconductor industry is under inventory correction due to weak end customer demands and the uncertainty of global economic situation. Current utilization rate for the testing industry is around 50% to 60% which means there is 40% to 50% excess capacity that needs to be filled up. We estimate that Q3 2011 will be slightly better than Q2 but Q4 will be lower than Q3, and hopefully we will see the normal seasonal pattern in 2012 that is to have peak in Q3.”
Driven by the strong needs from automotive, consumer electronics and healthcare devices, the MEMS market seems to be taking off this year. According to iSuppli, in 2012, global automotive MEMS sensor revenue will jump 16% to $2.31 billion on its way to $2.93 billion in 2015. The MEMS devices for consumer electronics are about to break a new record in 2011 with 37% revenue growth. “As the industry leader, ST continues to drive MEMS industry growth not only with its innovation capabilities but also with its commitment to local market. The Company is proactively participating in the development of local MEMS industry, i.e. the SEMI MEMS Committee in Taiwan, and is committed to work closely with customers to accommodate all their needs on the path of MEMS technology deployments and MEMS application developments,” said Mr. Giuseppe Izzo, GM of the Taiwan Operation and regional VP of the Industrial Segment, Greater China and South Asia Region, STMicroelectronics.
Dr. Burn Lin, vice president of R&D at TSMC and chairman, SEMI Taiwan IC Committee, envisioned the roadmap of lithography technology development. “Advanced lithography is at a crucial turning point. The trusted optical lithography workhorse is being stretched beyond its limit with multiple patterning on each critical layer, thus impacting the cost and design flexibility. Extreme UV lithography and multiple-e-beam maskless lithography are being developed to succeed optical lithography but not yet ready for high volume manufacturing. We are working very hard on all three fronts to hold the pace of Moore’s law. Critical EUV and MEB tools are expected in 2012~2013 time frame. Trial production will start in a year or two, if successful,” he pointed out.
Dr. Ho-Ming Tong, general manager and CTO of ASE Group indicated that 3D-IC will become the main stream in the Post-PC era and the market will take off by 2013. “3D-IC will be a new driver for the growth of semiconductor industry because more and more consumer electronics such as computers and mobile devices will adopt 3D-IC technologies.” Even in the downturn, semiconductor industry players never stop developing 3D-IC technologies. The industry is jointly working on several 3D IC standards to accelerate the technology development,” said Tong.
Mr. Erix Yu, corporate vice president of Silicon Systems Group at Applied Materials, talked about how equipment technology continues to help the semiconductor industry move at the pace defined by Moore’s law to enable the mobile computing era. Yu stated, “We will review the various technology breakthroughs that have been employed recently and the new challenging technologies that lie ahead. It takes a comprehensive technology portfolio to solve the process and equipment integration challenges, fast product innovation cadence, and ability to integrate different capabilities on the same platform. We are really excited about the innovations made in recent years. The industry is accelerating at an unstoppable pace.”
On the other hand, sustainability is also a rising concern for the industry. Design for green in the beginning of manufacturing process is considered to be vital for green management. Mr. Tod Higinbotham, executive vice president and general manager of Microelectronics of ATMI, noted that “The key to successfully delivering more sustainable solutions is collaboration.” ATMI has been incorporating “The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry” and “The 12 Principles of Green Engineering” into its development process and the results to-date have been promising. One of ATMI’s new semiconductor manufacturing products (iCleaner) has received its 'Design for the Environment' designated label (DfE Label) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mr. Clark Tseng, senior research manager at SEMI, indicated that the capital equipment market in Taiwan is expected to continue its investment momentum reaching over US$ 10 billion in both 2011 and 2012, which will again make Taiwan the single largest semiconductor equipment market in the world. For semiconductor materials, worldwide semiconductor material market is forecast to show healthy growth in 2011 and 2012 to reach $46 billion and $47 billion, respectively. Taiwan is expected to surpass Japan as the largest material consumption market in the world this year reaching $9.6 billion and is forecast to hit around $10 billion in 2012.
2011 Equipment Forecast by Market Region
2011 Materials Forecast by Market Region
The SEMICON Taiwan show and conference this year presented several technology pavilions such as LED, MEMS, Green Manufacturing, and Advanced Packaging and Testing. A total of 33,000 visitors from the supply chain attended the event.
SEMI Global Update
October 4, 2011