Israeli metrology company Nova Measuring Instruments is to consolidate its
IM (Integrated Metrology) products into two major product divisions (Thin
Films and Lithography). The workforce has been reduced by 14%. The company
says that all investments in its new Integrated Process Control (IPC)
products and solutions are continuing.
SZ Testsysteme successfully finalised negotiations with its creditors. A
court appointed administrator, Dr Michael Miersch, has a wide range of
powers to continue negotiations with all business partners. As a result of
its reorganisation and recapitalisation efforts, SZ Testsysteme may now
resume production at full capacity, preserving the company and its
Singapore foundry Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing is reducing its
workforce by 300 people, about 7% of its total headcount. About 60% of those
hit by the cutback will be manufacturing operators in Singapore. About 25
people in the company's operation outside of Singapore will lose their job.
Spending on new equipment is to drop by 10%.
The Silterra Malaysia foundry has purchased additional Brooks-PRI automation
equipment as the result of a planned capacity expansion for its 200mm fab.
This latest order from Silterra is for an expansion of its automated
material handling System (AMHS), that includes wafer stockers, track and
integration services. Brooks-PRI expects to begin equipment and services
delivery in its Q2 2003.
Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector will be using Bede Scientific's
D1 high resolution x-ray diffractometer. The tool will be used at Northrop
Grumann's Advanced Materials and Semiconductor Device Technology Center in
Maryland, USA. This instrument will be used primarily for the
characterisation of GaN-based epitaxial structures for high-speed electronic
devices. The instrument will incorporate Bede's latest version of its
control and data acquisition software - Bede Control 2.
Israeli foundry Tower Semiconductor has ordered $45mn worth of equipment
from Applied Materials. Tower plans to use the equipment for the production
of 0.18micron and 0.13micron CMOS digital logic, mixed signal, flash memory
and image sensor devices in its new Fab 2. The facility is expected to
produce up to 33,000 200mm wafers per month and employ 1100 people.
Tower's order includes multiple PVD (physical vapour deposition), RTP (rapid
thermal processing), etch, HDP-CVD (high-density plasma chemical vapour
deposition), WCVD (tungsten chemical vapour deposition), SACVD
(sub-atmospheric chemical vapour deposition), wafer inspection and defect
International SEMATECH (ISMT) and DuPont Photomasks have combined their
intellectual property for producing test photomasks to be used in
establishing leading edge technology nodes, under a recently signed
Luxell Technologies has sold a Black Layer license agreement to Lite Array.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lite Array has acquired a production
licence to integrate Luxell's proprietary contrast enhancement technology in
organic light-emitting diode (OLED) flat panel display products based on
small molecule organic electroluminescent diode (SMOLED) technology. Lite
Array will pay Luxell technology transfer fees and on-going royalties based
on display sales to their customers. No other terms of the agreement were
Philips Electronics says it has become one of the first companies to produce commercial quantities of highly complex system-on-chips (SoCs) using 0.12micron CMOS technology. The SoCs were produced at TSMC and Philips own facilities and feature multiple digital signal processors (DSPs) and almost 9Mbits of on-chip memory.
Infineon - Dresden 300mm plant are ramping up to produce 20,000 wafers per Month in 2003 from 4,000. They are going to require equipment.
Intel - Lexlip Fab 24 300mm plant tool install restarted for Q3 03 - they will be buying in 1st half of next year $1.6 billion spend.
STM / Philips / Motorola - Crolles 2 in Crolles France will spend between $200m and $400m to produce 4000 wafers per month.
Communicant - Germany Have funding for 200mm fab, will be buying this year.
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Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT) announced three sales orders.
The company delivered GaN LED production tools to two Taiwan companies -
Epitech in June 2002 and to ITE Compound Semiconductor in October 2002.
The European Business Team distribution company is to provide product
distribution and service support to Sagitta, manufacturer of an electron
microscope sample preparation system used for semiconductor yield
enhancement, failure analysis, and process development.
South Korean supplier of silicon and epitaxial wafers LG Siltron has ordered
the first BedeScan x-ray topography tool worth $265,000 from Bede plc.
Australian chemical supplier Silex Systems made an initial order for
isotopically pure silicon-28 trichlorosilane from Isonics.
Nikon has joined the X Initiative and has already collaborated with other
members to validate the X Architecture design-to-wafer supply chain at
Taiwan company WIN Semiconductors (WIN) and UK-based Roke Manor Research
have made a "stategic alliance" combining GaAs processing and design
capabilities to provide a complete solution from design to finished parts.
SZ Testsysteme creditors have decided to shut the business down. A creditors
committee is currently considering a continuation of the operational
business by a rescue company. In this regard there are two offers.
Toshiba has decided "in principle" to build 300mm wafer production
facilities. Production lines will be set up in two major Japanese facilities
in Oita and Yokkaichi. The investment programme will extend over four years
from 2003 and is expected to total JPY350bn.
The BOC Lienhwa joint venture in Taiwan has begun high purity ammonia production at its electronic materials plant for the semiconductor, liquid crystal display (LCD) and flat panel display (FPD) industries.
SEMI has calculated a preliminary book-to-bill ratio for North American semiconductor equipment makers of 0.79 in November 2002. The three-month average for orders were worth $779mn, a 39% improvement on 2001. Billings were at $991mn, up 21%.
Infineon Technologies and independent memory module manufacturer Kingston Technology have signed a long-term agreement (LTA) and a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) concerning memory products.
US display integrator Three-Five Systems gained the right to market German optical device producer OSRAM Opto Semiconductors’ organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. Three-Five Systems will also provide design-engineering services to support the integration of OSRAMs technology into OEM products.
Infineon Technologies has decided to sell its 30% share of the ProMOS Technologies DRAM joint venture with Mosel Vitelic. ProMOS has responded (December 16) by suing Infineon under Taiwan law for breach of fiduciary duty, other misconduct and the violation of company law, the criminal code and the securities and fair trade act. An Infineon spokesman was unwilling to comment on the ProMOS allegations given that his company had not been informed as yet by its lawyers of the legal action.