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Wanna Buy a Used Stepper? Only One Owner, Mint Condition…

Wanna Buy a Used Stepper? Only One Owner, Mint Condition…
by Paul McLellan on 01-10-2015 at 12:20 pm

Back in the early 90s there used to be a billboard alongside 237 advertising second-hand fab equipment: steppers, ion implanters, diffusion ovens. It used to amuse me as an “only in silicon valley” thing; after all, even in silicon valley the number of individuals who were likely to be in a position to buy used fab equipment was pretty small and billboards are usually a form of mass advertising.

But there really is a secondary market for fab equipment. Today it is approximately $1.5B, representing about 5% of the total $31B fab equipment market. It is likely to become more important going forward. Of course 14nm and 10nm equipment gets all the publicity but the reality is that legacy fabs are becoming increasingly important. For example, TSMC has recently produced new lower-power variants of several of their older processes, presumably with a view to increasing loading in some of their older fabs. GlobalFoundries upgraded on of its legacy fabs from 200mm to 300mm. The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to provide further volume for legacy processes.

See also Samsung Fab Equipment Overlap 28nm and 14nm

Investment in “legacy” fabs are important in manufacturing many semiconductor products and such fabs remain a sizeable portion of the industries manufacturing base:

  • 150 mm and 200 mm fab capacity represent ~40% of the total installed fab capacity
  • Over 400 150 mm and 200 mm fabs are in production today, and only 10–20 are expected to close by 2018
  • 200 mm fab capacity has been on the increase, led by foundry companies who are increasing capacity by approximately 7% by 2016
  • For 2014, foundries and IDMs increased spending for secondary 200mm equipment by 45% (foundries being roughly half of the spend)


SEMI have just produced a report on this subject, the SEMI Secondary Fab Equipment Report. They completed a study of the market to determine the market size and identify key trends and issues impacting this important industry segment. Foundries and IDMs were asked to provide information pertaining to their acquisition of used tools for 150mm, 200mm and 300mm. Direct spending input was obtained from 28 IDMs and foundries and estimates made for another 12 based on capex plans, quarterly reports and so on. The focus of the report is fab equipment (used assembly, test and packaging equipment was not included in the study).

This report is new, unique coverage for the industry. The report contains 26 pages and 29 figures and charts. The target audience is expected to be companies serving the secondary fab equipment supply chain, IDMs and foundries, and other industry analysts who need data to benchmark and analyze this market.

You can order the report (or download a sample) here.


More articles by Paul McLellan…

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