Semi probe card sales projected flat for 2012
5/3/2012 7:41 PM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO—Sales of semiconductor probe cards are forecast to be around $1.17 billion in 2012, flat with 2011, market watcher VLSI Research Inc said Thursday (May 3).
Probe card sales grew by 17 percent in 2011 to reach $1.17 billion, among the highest totals for the segment ever, VLSI said. But 2011 probe card sales came up short of the all time record of $1.36 billion set in 2007, according to VLSI (Santa Clara, Calif.).
Over the next five years, probe card revenue is expected to grow steadily and stay above the billion dollar mark despite severe pricing pressure, according to VLSI. The firm projects that the semiconductor probe card market will reach $1.5 billion by 2016.
Micronics Japan Co. Ltd. was the top seller of probe cards in 2011 with $203 million in sales, according to VLSI. Micronics displaced FormFactor Inc., which had been the leader in probe card sales for 10 years in a row, VLSI said.
Sales of probe cards for memory applications grew 21 percent last year, while sales for non-memory applications grew 16 percent, VLSI said. The switch away from cantilever probe cards to advanced probe cards continues, VLSI said, with advanced probe cards now accounting for 77 percent of revenues, up from 71 percent in 2010. The fastest growing major segment was advanced probe cards for non-memory applications, which grew 32 percent in 2011, VLSI said.