TOKYO -- Canon Inc.'s semiconductor-equipment unit posted sales of $472 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, down 24.6% from the like period a year ago and a 29.4% decline from the previous period.
The company's chip-equipment unit also posted an operating loss of $37.6 million in the quarter, compared to a profit of $54 million in the like period a year ago.
For the year, Canon's IC-equipment unit reported sales of $2.3 billion in 2001, up 13% from 2000. It also posted an operating profit of $181 million in 2001, up 124% from 2000.
The parent company reported sales of $5.7 billion in the fourth quarter, up 1.6% from the like period a year ago. It posted a profit of $227.5 million in the quarter, up 1% from a year ago.
The Tokyo-based company had a banner year in the chip-equipment business, especially in lithography gear. It jumped from third to second place in terms of market share in the worldwide lithography-tool business in 2001, surpassing ASML Holding N.V. of the Netherlands, according to combined estimates from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. and VLSI Research Inc. Japan's Nikon Corp. was the largest supplier of lithography tools in 2001.
In total, Canon's worldwide market share jumped from 23% in 2000 to 31% in 2001, according to the estimates. Canon also delivered a total of 284 tools for chip production in 2000, but its shipments of IC tools were estimated at 250 units in 2001, a drop of 12%, according to the report (see Jan. 29 story ).
Industry sources believe that the company may have shipped from 280-to-290 lithography tools in 2001. In any case, Canon claims that it is the leader in 300-mm lithography tools, with 60% market share in 2001.
The company also benefited from strong orders in Japan. It received significant orders for its tools from several chip makers outside of Japan, including Infineon, Texas Instruments and others. Intel Corp. is also reportedly evaluating 193-nm scanners from Canon.
And in a major move to expand its 300-mm lithography business, Japan's Canon late last year also announced a trio of tools for use in 193-nm, 248-nm, and i-line applications.
The tools include three new models--the FPA-5000AS3 ArF (argon-fluoride) scanner, FPA-5000ES4 KrF (krypton-fluoride) scanner, and the FPA-5500iX i-line stepper. Geared for both 200- and 300-mm wafer fabs, the new tools will provide chip makers with a one-stop shop of scanners for mix-and-match applications at the 100-nm (0.10-micron) and below (see Dec. 18 story ).