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July 12, 2012

Semicon West 2012

Semicon West 2012
Ken Cavallaro, Business Manager, Semiconductor Packaging News
The Semicon West show in San Francisco has been a busy conference with technical sessions on the latest technology in semiconductor design, manufacturing and packaging. Each morning thousands of visitors also wait for the exhibit halls to open to review the newest technology to increase yield and reduce costs. This is impressive for an industry which suffers from monthly gyrations of the global economy.

Most companies we spoke to said business is okay, but concerned with a cloudy global economic picture. Companies with unique niches based on a technology solution have fared the best so far this year. Even though high volume production remains in Asia, the European crisis is a concern for the industry as consumer electronic growth is the fuel for increases in semiconductor volume.

Semicon West 2012
We talked to many suppliers on Tuesday and Wednesday who have introduced new technology this year, in some cases, cannibalizing their older technology. But they realized, if they do not deliver a better solution, a competitor will.  Delivering higher yields with lower cost is the key for manufacturing applications. We attended several press conferences during the show and learned about many new products.

We have an interesting discussion scheduled for Thursday with Luc Van Den Hove, from Imec on the advancements in advanced packaging technology and the development of 450mm wafer. The Flemish government will invest in Imec's $100 million euro 450mm clean room infrastructure projected to open in 2015. The 450mm clean room will enable Imec to support its partners with cutting-edge research on (sub)-10nm devices that will play a vital role in future ICT, healthcare and energy solutions. The transition to 450mm is essential for the advancement of powerful and cheap ICs. Imec also collaborated with world-leading equipment suppliers, such as KLA-Tencor, to install 450mm tools on-site to fuel R&D.

As the electronics industry continues to develop new products for global consumers, automotive technology and medical applications, this demand will lead to more components and significant increases in memory. Even as the news of the week has been slowing equipment demand, unit increases will continue with demand for improving yields.

Ken Cavallaro, Business Manager
Semiconductor Packaging News


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