Speculation Heats Up
As the summer draws to a close the speculation on the timing of the upturn is hotter than ever. It also seems a big waste for companies to worry about that. Any business course will point out that the time to gain market share is in the downturn. Those companies that hold onto their coins until the upturn is with us will be too late to take advantage. There is enough evidence that the tide has turned. It is just doing it in slightly different phases than usual.
With diversification and the legacy of the 2000 gluttonfest, the industry is not following traditional patterns. The materials and backend industries are already showing positive signs that capacities are rising in both IDM and foundry fabs. This time the corresponding increase in capital tool equipment sales are not as quick to follow. One of the reasons is the glut of unused tools from the 2000 spending spree. There has been a marked increase in second hand and refurbishing services. The mothballs are being cleared away.
With R&D costs for new technology nodes spiralling, coupled with IDMs announcing they may even skip some processes in which hundreds of millions of dollars have already been invested, there is understandable concern that the industry will not realise the collective responsibilty needed to meet its research requirements. It is possible that the industry's technology progress may significantly slow in the next upturn unless there is a killer application that can create the required enthusiasm for investment.
There is a need for the industry to develop a forum where these issues can be discussed without the threat of losing contracts or partnerships. The next stage of consolidation appears to be coming through a war of attrition as no-one appears to be able to stand up and take responsibility for current concerns.
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AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!
AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST)
and will feature online
versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International
and PIC International
PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International
Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.
2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.
We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.
We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.
Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.
Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.
So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.
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