By Paula Doe
WaferNews Contributing Editor
JEITA’s semiconductor subcommittee hopes to create a vital market for used equipment in Japan with a new web-based exchange. The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association will use the Japanese semiconductor web venture Semiconductor Portal to manage the online sales site.
JEITA estimates Japan’s used equipment market is only some $150 to $250 million (?20 to 30 billion) out of a worldwide total of perhaps $2.5 billion (?300 billion), as the Japanese have been reluctant to consider using other companies’ cast-off tools. But the recent round of restructurings leaves companies with a glut of excess equipment. And hard times are forcing companies to rethink production. NEC has been touting in the trade press how it can beat the foundries on costs of LCD drivers with its newest logic plant, built on the cheap in an old spinning mill and outfitted with used equipment from other NEC sites.
The online equipment exchange is free, but open only to registered users of approved rank and authority at appropriate organizations, who agree to treat any information from the site about who wants to buy or sell what equipment as a corporate trade secret. The database of equipment offered for sale or wanted for purchase will be updated once a month, but members of JEITA’s semiconductor committee get earlier access to the information, and other companies are invited to join. The trade group says it plans to set standards for things like contamination like those of the Surplus Equipment Consortium Network (SEC/N) in the US Companies with their logos on the site include NEC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Mitsubishi Electric, Oki, Rohm, Sanyo, Epson, Sony, and Panasonic.
Japan’s Semiconductor Portal has recently started charging a $200 annual subscription fee for access to its site.