SAN FRANCISCO -- There’s a consensus among fab tool executives at a panel during Semicon West: Business is good in 2010, but there are still some concerns.
Overall, the mood is upbeat at Semicon West, as compared to last year’s event. Needless to say, 2009 was a horrible year and vendors suffered amid the downturn.
But now, capital spending is expected to jump by a staggering 115 percent in 2010 over 2009, said Jonathan Davis, president of SEMI North America, during a panel. And the IC market is expected to grow between 20-to-30 percent in 2010, said Stephen Newberry, president and CEO of Lam Research.
''The outlook is
positive,’’ said said Rankhir Thakur, executive vice president and general manager of Silicon Systems at Applied Materials Inc.
However, capital intensity is still low considering the overall IC demand in the market, he said. In fact, capital intensity is hovering around 10 percent, he said.
And going forward this year, ''capital intensity (will) stay about the same,’’ said Rick Wallace, president and chief of KLA-Tencor Corp.
ATE vendors are also bullish. For example, Verigy Inc. predicts it will see 60 percent growth this year, said Keith Barnes, president and chief executive of the ATE supplier.
ATE vendors are seeing a different demand picture as compared to the front-end equipment players. The front-end vendors are seeing demand across the board.
The growth engine for Verigy revolves around the non-memory segment, but the memory market is somewhat slower. ''2011 should pick up’’ for the ATE memory market, he said.