Members Drive Innovation through Reuse of Equipment

Members Drive Innovation through Reuse of Equipment

econdary market equipment sales reached $6.0 billion in 2010, a 77% increase over 2009

While some segments of the semiconductor industry look towards the transition to larger wafer sizes and solving the challenges of EUV and next generation fabs, there is a quiet revolution going on in another part of the industry.  Members of the Secondary Equipment & Applications (SEA) special interest group of SEMI are adding market value by servicing and renewing equipment and even solving some complex equipment and process issues— with applications as diverse as DNA Sequencing, LED and photovoltaic manufacturing and a multitude of MEMS devices.  SEMI estimates that approximately 90% of semiconductor fabs today are using 200mm (or smaller diameter wafer) equipment.  If the company in question is not a memory or leading-edge logic maker or a large foundry, chances are that it will be focused on maximizing productivity of smaller-diameter equipment.

Secondary market equipment sales reached $6.0 billion in 2010, a 77% increase over 2009.  At 13% of the total equipment spending, it confirms the growing importance of secondary equipment and services at both 300 mm and 200 mm fabs. “Globally we estimate that almost all semiconductor companies are involved in secondary equipment and services in some way,” according to Tom Salmon, senior director in the Semiconductor Business Unit at SEMI.  “We see large IDMs selling used equipment, all OEMs servicing older product lines, and hundreds of smaller companies giving a broad array of services to this market segment.  There is a need for information, best practices and education — this is the objective of the SEA.”

The SEA group has taken on a number of initiatives to help keep this a vibrant market, and to support the drive for quality and improvements in the service level.

At the recent general meeting at SEMICON West 2011, the group agreed to change both its name and structure, to better facilitate growth of the group's activities around the globe.  The name of the group was changed from Secondary Equipment, Services & Technology Group (SESTG) to Secondary Equipment & Applications (SEA) to simplify and make more usable in various regions, and to reflect that a wide portfolio of services support the innovations taking place.  The structure evolved from a global super-structure to regional chapters, with chairs of the chapters making up a global executive counsel to coordinate activities. 

Today, SEA chapters are underway and active in China, Japan and North America — and plans are underway for Europe, Korea and Southeast Asia chapters.   Members of the SEA special interest group cover the spectrum of the eco-system with participants from IDMs, foundries, OEMs, refurbishers, finance, brokers and other service providers.

This year, SEA released its first Secondary Equipment Market Data report, which showed the global secondary equipment market at approximately $6 billion. ( Future editions of the report will also address the important combined services market as well. Next to the trade of secondary equipment, the services market is extremely important for the large installed base. Examples include spare parts, engineering, process development, wafer reclaim, etc.  Another growth area is the support needed for existing fabs to become more efficient with their use of energy and environmental footprint.

As part of its goal to educate the broader industry, the SEA has worked hard to develop strong, insightful seminars at many of the SEMICON shows around the world.  The popularity of these seminars, coupled with pavilions on the show floors, reflect the evolution this industry segment is going through.  In addition to growing the regional chapters, work is also underway on definitions and guidelines, as well as a gap analysis on critical areas of support for secondary equipment.

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SEMI members can join the SEA special interest group by contacting 

October 4, 2011