by Ed Korczynski, Senior Technical Editor, Solid State Technology
Market analysts are projecting an imminent surge of 200mm wafer processing tools swamping the market, valued in billions of dollars each year through 2012. It seems clear that an extra 100 fabs will be for sale over the next few years, with MEMS and advanced packaging lines likely snapping up this extra manufacturing capacity — but watch out if a used 200mm tool flood washes over into mainstream CMOS.
The number of used tools forecasted in this study may be estimated by considering the average selling prices (ASP), and this varies widely depending upon tool categories. Tom Cheyney’s well written recent ChipShots blog mentions the standard 10%-20% cost of new tools, which certainly has been the historic average. Unfortunately, we’re entering into a new era where the lessons from history may not hold.