Top three toolmakers hold firm; others jockey about VLSI list

By Matt Wickenheiser
WaferNewsEditor

VLSI Research Inc.’s 2001 Top 10 Equipment Suppliers list saw no movement at the top three spots, but companies four through 10 were jumbled about in the industry’s worst year ever.

Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron Ltd., and Nikon have maintained their top three billings since 1992, according to VLSI, and held on to them in 2001 with sales of $6.45, $3.56, and $1.93 billion, respectively. The combined shipments of the top 10 were $20.3 billion, a drop of 31% from 2000, but still a better performance than the industry average.

Novellus Systems Inc. moved up three places to make its debut in the top 10 list as the eighth largest equipment company, with $1.01 billion in sales. Hitachi High-Technologies Corp., the new semiconductor equipment subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., came in at number nine with $982 million in sales, up from number 12 in 2000.

VLSI VP of Operations Risto Puhakka told WaferNews that this year’s analysis was difficult because of the transition to SAB 101, which “allows companies to recycle revenues from 2000 to 2001 and effectively introduces double counting.

“Some companies’ revenues are as much as 50% higher than their actual shipments. We are reporting the market shares based on shipments (historical accounting),” Puhakka explained. “This introduces the least error in the data and reports companies’ performance most accurately.”

According to VLSI, lithography toolmakers performed better than other equipment manufacturers in 2001. That sector’s combined shipments decreased 24% from 2000, compared to 57.3% for test companies, and 34.7% for other toolmakers.

ATE giants Advantest and Teradyne both suffered in 2001 and dropped ranks (Teradyne was number four in 2000 and didn’t make the top 10 in 2001; Advantest came in at number 10), but Agilent moved up a rank to number 13 with sales of $507.2 million.

In addition to Teradyne, Lam Research Corp. also fell from the top 10 in 2001.

Geographically, European companies gained market share, VLSI reported, with ASML as the fifth largest toolmaker (holding its spot from 2000), and ASM International jumping one spot to number 14. In Japan, Canon, Dainippon Screen, and Hitachi High-Technologies all jumped three positions to become the sixth, seventh, and ninth largest toolmakers in 2001.

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