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Semi recovery will be mixed blessing

Less fabs mean less kit mean less revenue

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A report by Semico Research has predicted there will be no upturn in the semiconductor industry until the year 2000. Even then, not everyone will benefit. But the report has also pointed out that die shrinks mean there will be less investment in fabs, meaning that semiconductor equipment manufacturers may not recover as swiftly as expected. Semico said that with shrinks of the DRAM memory cell, die per wafer value is doubling. When the industry used a .35 micron process, with a cell size of 1.75 mm, wafers produced 100 64Mb dies. However recent advances mean that over 400 dies per wafer can now be produced. That will have a knock-on effect on the semiconductor equipment industry, as less fabs are needed and will account for loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, claimed Semico. ®

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