Friday, March 22, 2013
Tokyo Electron To Boost Investment In Large-Wafer Systems
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035) plans to increase its budget for developing chipmaking equipment compatible with larger semiconductor wafers by 50% in fiscal 2013.
The world's third-largest chipmaking equipment manufacturer will earmark around 5 billion yen to come up with new coaters/developers and film deposition systems, including spending on production equipment and personnel. Its capital investment totals 20 billion yen annually.
Most of the wafers used in semiconductor production at present measure 300mm in diameter, but the industry is expected to begin transitioning to 450mm wafers as soon as 2017. In addition to devising new models that can deposit uniform films on the larger wafers, which bend more easily, Tokyo Electron will focus on creating products with smaller footprints and lower power consumption.
Because orders for chipmaking equipment are expected to begin half a year before the transition to the larger devices, Tokyo Electron aims to have technology compatible with 450mm wafers in place by 2016. Test production of some of the new products will begin in the second half of fiscal 2013.
(The Nikkei Business Daily, March 22 edition)