Back-end Semiconductor Manufacturing Heating Up

Rudolph Technologies, Inc., announced that is has received orders for 20 tools from the world’s four largest outsourced assembly and test (OSAT) companies and major foundry companies. The orders are for Rudolph’s automated macro defect inspection equipment, which typically sell within a range of $600k to $1.2m.  Rudolph is a  provider of process characterization equipment and software for wafer fabrication and advanced packaging facilities.
“These orders represent a level of activity not seen since Q3 of 2008,” stated Ardy Johnson, vice president of marketing at Rudolph. “With the majority of this tool demand coming out of Taiwan, we are anticipating an upbeat SEMICONTaiwan exhibition this month.”
“Rudolph leads the market in back-end macro defect inspection. Therefore, this long-anticipated upswing in assembly and test purchasing will prove quite beneficial for our overall business,” Johnson continued. “These recent orders have likewise confirmed the achieved customer-value resulting from Rudolph’s on-going development of new 2D and 3D inspection tools during the past industry down-turn, incorporating unique data analysis software packages that can classify defects and determine defect trends−all part of our complete solution in final test,” added Johnson. 
“In past industry cycle up-turns, the back-end market segment has typically been a leading indicator of future purchasing activity in the front-end wafer fabs,” Johnson concluded. “Recognizing Rudolph’s leading position in the front-end market for our inspection and metrology solutions, we are anxiously preparing for the next significant industry-wide ramp. We have continued our 2009 product development investment, which, for example, has enabled us to add enhanced resolution of measurements and defect detectability, while further increasing tool productivity. Product improvements such as this can be expected to result in ever stronger competitive positioning in meeting customers’ needs and expectations, and in what we believe will be a measurable market share gain for Rudolph.”


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