October 15, 2001 – Villach, Austria – SEZ Group has broken ground on the expansion of its wet bench facility in Donaueschingen, Germany. The expansion is a key part of the company’s worldwide wet bench strategy, as SEZ said the new facility will enable it to produce 300mm wet bench equipment and extend the company’s sales capabilities outside of Europe.
“This expansion is critical to elevating SEZ’s wet bench division to a true global player,” explained Kurt Lackenbucher, chief marketing officer of the SEZ Group. “We are looking to strengthen our market position in Europe and open up the US, Asia-Pacific and Japanese markets over the coming year. Recent orders from new key customers have supported the need for an expansion of the production facility which we expect to be operational in 2Q02.”
The total addressable market worldwide for wet wafer processing tools will reach an estimated $2 billion in FY02 and will grow approximately 20% to $2.4 billion in 2003. Wet bench equipment makes up 80% of this market.
The larger facility will increase SEZ’s wet bench production capacity to approximately $45 million per year. SEZ has also made a significant investment in R&D to bring a 300mm wet bench to market by the 1Q02.
The 200mm wet benches include all standard batch applications. The 300mm application portfolio in the first tool generation will focus on pre-diffusion clean, RCA clean, nitride etch and pre-gate clean with the capability of spiking and diluted chemistries.