With the industry’s focus over the last several years on 300mm fab production, it has been somewhat overlooked that it will never make financial sense for many IDMs to migrate their 200mm production to a 300mm platform.
Approximately 40% of all semiconductor devices are still manufactured on 200mm or smaller wafers. Furthermore, many 150mm and below manufacturers are interested in migrating to 200mm in order to be cost effective or simply being driven to it as a result of 150mm obsolescence. As a result, worldwide 200mm fab capacity is high and approaching saturation.
Recently, SEMI released it’s “Secondary Fab Equipment Report” where it stated that new products for growth sectors such as IoT, mobility, and sensors are likely to be built on 200mm platforms leading to a greater capacity crunch for the next several years.
In order to meet this demand, OEMs may need to revisit manufacturing new 200mm equipment or spinning off this mature business. The volume of used 200mm equipment returning to the market is likely to drop for the next few years as fewer migrations from 200mm to 300mm take place. The current thinking is that 200mm production using 350nm to 90nm design rules will be required for the next 3 decades. The challenge will be meeting the demands of these manufacturers.
Bruce Kim, CEO of SurplusGLOBAL(www.SurplusGLOBAL.com), the largest secondary semiconductor equipment trader in the market believes “the availability of 200mm used equipment will be one of the greatest challenges to 200mm fabs over the next few years”. SEMI will be holding a “Secondary Equipment Forum 2015”(http://www.semiconkorea.org/en/node/2781) chaired by Bruce Kim, SurplusGLOBAL on Feb 06 during Semicon Korea. There will be Q&A and discussion with global leaders.