Where do they draw the line between fab tools and packaging/assembly tools? I ask because I am currently working on a far BEOL tool that we call a packaging tool. We classify TSV as packaging and pretty much anything after the interconnects. At Intel, everything after the last interconnect layer was 'considered' packaging for 45nm stuff as it was done outside of the FEOL/BEOL 'wafer' fab but still before wafers are diced up. The tools used for some of the first stages of this packaging are not very different from fab tools whereas when you move more towards assembly, they are.
@hkdigital1- you make a good point, which caused me to take a closer look. I determined that I made an error (which I corrected). In September, Gartner said the tool market would be up 122 percent next year (113 percent was from their June forecast). For comparisons sake, Gartner is now saying the 2011 capital equipment market will be worth $38 billion, as opposed to $38.7 billion in the September forecast.
So, Gartner raised 2010 growth from 113% to 131% and lowered 2011 growth from 4.9% to negative 1%. That means their new forecast for 2011 is 17% higher than it was in their September forecast.
Flat tool orders for 2011 coming off record 2010 doesn't look bad.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.