BALA CYNWYD, Pa. " The market for semiconductor equipment is heating up again in China, as Chinese foundry startup Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corp. (SMIC) is expected to order $1 billion worth of tools for its new fab in Beijing, according to a report from Susquehanna International Group LLP.
After visiting chip makers in China last week, analyst Kevin Vassily, who covers the sector for Susquehanna, reported that semiconductor manufacturing -- and equipment procurement -- is moving full speed ahead after a brief lull.
Vassily reported that a more sanguine outlook for China in 2004 was tempered by restrained spending during 2003. Still, the semiconductor manufacturing industry in China remains largely unprofitable, he said.
SMIC "may generate tool orders in excess of $1 billion for its Fab 4 facility being build in Beijing," Vassily added. In March, SMIC said 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 2004.
Vassily said the orders may commence in late 2003 for delivery in March 2004, but that the timing of delivery would be subject to demand.
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.