2Q spike reveals rainbow, cyclicality


Maybe the maturing semiconductor industry is through with cyclical highs and lows spanning several years, but those cycles are alive and well if you drill down to a narrower scope, notes IC Insights.

The top 20 semiconductor suppliers saw their sales surge 21% in 2Q09 from the prior quarter, a 37-point swing from 1Q vs. 4Q, the firm calculates. (The SIA’s numbers showed a 17% Q/Q spike in 2Q chip sales.) Not only does that suggest the stormy downturn/collapse hit its worst in 1Q, but that the sun is coming out -- inventories are now being rebuilt, just in time for seasonal demand in 3Q (IC Insights projects 8% sales growth). By 4Q09 growth will likely get back in line with the global economy and electronic system sales. (For all of 2009, chip sales are still projected to decline -17%.)

2Q09 top 20 semiconductor sales (US $M). Source: IC Insights, company reports
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Among the top movers of product in 2Q: TSMC (also prepping a huge capex surge), Hynix (riding memory ASP recovery), and fabless firm MediaTek (helped by digital TV and wireless demand). Moving down the list: AMD (still competing with Intel), Freescale (auto industry exposure), and Fujitsu (flash, auto device slumps).


Foundry sales will slide 25% in 2009, slightly worse than the overall chip industry (-23%), due to shifts in specialization and demand aggregation, according to iSuppli.

GlobalFoundries has announced its first customer not named AMD???STMicroelectronics, for whom it will make 40nm low-power bulk silicon tech, with production planned for sometime in 2010.

Corning and Soitec plan to develop high-performance silicon-on-glass substrates for OLED mobile displays.


Asyst is selling off its business in three parts: AMHS to Murata ($115M), fab automation to Crossing Automation ($6.5M), and connectivity software to Peer Group ($2M).

Rudolph Technologies has acquired advanced process control firm Adventa Control Technologies.

Beaverton, OR-based fabless firm BeSang says it has developed a multi-layer stacked 3D IC technology.

Tegal has unveiled a new inductively coupled plasma reactor (“ProNova”) for its DRIE series products, targeting MEMS and 3D ICs.


Elpida has agreed to purchase Qimonda’s graphics memory (GDDR), and outsource some production to Taiwan’s Winbond. Elpida also is more than doubling DDR3 monthly output, and will retool some idle lines to produce LCD drivers for NEC.

Tokyo Electron reportedly will close three R&D/manufacturing sites, shifting operations and 600 workers to other locations.

Sumitomo Electric Industries reportedly has created a green semiconductor laser (531nm wavelength) at room temperature using a technique to cut GaN crystals.

Nanya and Inotera are planning to deploy 50nm process technology in September.Samsung meanwhile, is ramping 2Gb DDR3 memory on a “40nm-class” process.

Nemotek Techonologie has launched customized wafer-level packaging with through-silicon via from its Moroccan facilities.


Siltronic will transfer 150mm wafer production from its facility in Freiberg to Burghausen; Singapore will be the company’s lead site for 200mm; and Burghausen will be designated the focus for 300mm R&D, pooling production from the other two sites.

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