Gartner Predicts Equipment Slow-down for 2008

STAMFORD, CT - A glut in the DRAM market, slower than expected growth in NAND spending, and concerns about a U.S. recession are all contributing to a slow start to 2008 for semiconductor capital equipment spending, according to a report from Gartner, Inc.

While the back-end assembly and packaging equipment market has improved since Gartner’s October 2007 adjustment reports, the market research company predicts a market decline of nearly 10% in 2008 due to continued weak business conditions in the semiconductor market as a whole.

Additionally, Gartner analysts expect a decline of 1.9% for the automated test equipment (ATE) market, heralded in the middle of 2007 by restrictions on test providers’ capital budgets. For 2008, a more substantial decline of 8% is expected.

All segments of the capital equipment market are projected for negative spending in 2008. Klaus Rinnen, managing VP for Gartner’s semiconductor manufacturing group, attributes this to a long overdue capital spending correction in the DRAM market to push the capital equipment market into contraction.

On the up side, Rinnen says he expects NAND flash spending to continue ramping, which, when combined with firm pricing for logic device segments should bring manufacturers hope for increased capacity spending. For wafer fabs, the drive to the next technology node will pick up steam, and logic will need to invest to meet demand. Gartner sees this occurring in the second half of 2008, moving the industry into positive growth in 2009.

MIG Achieves Milestones

PITTSBURGH, PA - Trade associations measure their success not in revenue, but by more qualitative accomplishments such as increases in membership and event attendance. By those counts, 2007 was a monumental year for the MEMS Industry Group (MIG) who reported a 20% increase in membership, record attendance at its annual event, the MEMS Executive Congress, as well as naming a new managing director and forming strategic partnerships with industry analysts and organizations.

Part of the growth of MIG, the industry group dedicated to the commercialization of MEMS, can be attributed to the proliferation of MEMS devices beyond inkjet printers and airbags to mobile phones and consumer electronics, automotive safety, and medical technology.

“2007 has been a tremendous year of positive change and growth for MIG, and we anticipate that 2008 will bring even more benefits to our members and to the industry at large,” said Karen Lightman, the organization’s managing director. She said a series of MEMS business short courses will be added to the 2008 line-up, in addition to the organizations cornerstone conferences: the MEMS Executive Congress and METRIC, the organization’s members-only annual meeting.

Lightman formalized a number of strategic industry relationships including Bourne Research, Chipworks, MEPTEC, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Wicht Technologie Consulting (WTC), and Yole Développement. In addition, Analog Devices, Maxim Technology Products, Acuity Micro, Acutronic USA, ARC Technologies, Axept, FEI Company, MEI LLC, MEMStaff, Microvision, NIST, Nova Electronic Materials, Plan Optik, Primaxx, Inc., Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Siimpel Corporation and Silex Microsystems all joined MIG in 2007. For more information, please visit

Dietrich Tonnies Joins Advisory Board

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NASHUA, NH and MUNICH, Germany - The editors and publisher of Advanced Packaging are pleased to welcome Dietrich Tönnies, Ph.D., global business manager for mask aligners at SUSS MicroTec, to its editorial advisory board. At SUSS, Tonnies is responsible for marketing, product management, and application engineering. As an expert in photolithography he is focusing on further developing the SUSS mask aligner product portfolio.

Tonnies joined SUSS MicroTec in 1997 as product manager for mask aligners. Between 2001 and 2004 he developed the company’s advanced packaging business, and is one of the founders and board member of the SECAP consortium. Tonnies holds a Ph.D. in physics from Würzburg University, Germany, and has authored and co-authored numerous technical publications and papers.