Applied Materials has put off for at least a year plans to open a technology development center in Japan. The move comes as the company has been cutting costs across the board, in reaction to a industrywide slowdown.
The Japanese center, which was to be located in Narita, outside Tokyo, was to have made 300-millimeter equipment a main focus. However, with the semiconductor industry in a slump, equipment orders down sharply, and chip overcapacity expected to last through the end of the year at least, most industry analysts are predicting the first production deployments of 300-mm fabs will be pushed back by a few years.
A number of announced 300-mm pilot line fabs have been put on hold recently because of tool shortages and soft demand.