Sharp drop in sales of fab equipment, blamed on overcapacity

April 15, 2002–SAN JOSE, CA–A 30 percent drop in worldwide sales of fab equipment for 2001 is being blamed on excess inventories and overcapacity, according to market researcher Dataquest Inc. Sales in 2001 totaled $23.3 billion a sharp decrease compared to the $33.1 billion in sales logged in 2000.

"Following the spectacular growth of 2000, capacity shipments virtually ceased during 2001 and the buying focus was on technology and productivity-enhancing equipment," notes Bob Johnson, principal analyst of Gartner Dataquest’s semiconductor research group.

"The 2001 market was kinder to companies in hot technology segments such as lithography, copper interconnect and process control. On the other hand, companies more strongly dependent on capacity buys and greenfield activity were more negatively affected,"Johnson adds.

The top ten sellers of wafer fab equipment for the year were: Applied Materials Tokyo Electron, KLA-Tencor, Nikon, ASML, Canon, Lam Research, Novellus Systems, Dainippon Screen and Hitachi.


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