BALA CYNWYD, Penn. -- The market for semiconductor equipment is heating up in China--again. Chinese foundry startup Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp. (SMIC) is expected to order $1 billion worth of 300-mm tools for its new fab in Beijing alone, according to a report from Susquehanna International Group LLP today (Aug. 27, 2003).
After visiting chip makers in China last week, analyst Kevin Vassily, who covers the sector for Susquehanna, reports that semiconductor manufacturing--and equipment procurement--is moving full speed ahead after a brief lull.
In a report issued by the Bala Cynwyd-based research firm, Vassily said a more sanguine outlook for China in 2004 was tempered by restrained spending during 2003. But still, the semiconductor manufacturing industry in China remains largely unprofitable, he said.
He added that SMIC "may generate tool orders in excess of $1 billion for its Fab 4 facility being build in Beijing." In March, SMIC said that it may move in manufacturing equipment for its previously-announced 300-mm wafer pilot line at its Beijing plant by the end of this year or early next year ( see March 26 story ).
Vassily said these orders may commence in late 2003 for delivery in March of 2004, but that the timing of delivery would be subject to the demand environment.
He added that SMIC has won SRAM business from Toshiba Corp. for approximately 10,000 to 15,000 wafers per month, which may result in further tool orders for the SMIC facility in Shanghai. At present, SMIC also has two 8-inch fabs in Shanghai. SMIC obtained its sub-micron technology from Toshiba, it was noted.