May 31, 2002 – Santa Clara, CA – Applied Materials will increase procurement of Taiwan-made parts to account for 40% of its global purchasing, according to David Du, GM of the company’s Taiwan branch.
Taiwan currently supplies only 5% of the parts sourced globally by Applied Materials, reported the Financial Times. Major suppliers to the company in Taiwan include the mechanical industrial research laboratories of government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute, Orient Semiconductor Electronics Ltd., Gongin Precision Ind. Co. Ltd., Habor Precise Industries Co. Ltd., Topco Quartz Products Co. Ltd., and Fexsemicon Integrated Technology Inc.
Du said that mechanically processed metal parts and diversified printed circuit boards would be the two major categories in which procurement levels will increase.
He said that the world chipmaking equipment market is recovering and Taiwan’s market has reported the fastest growth because many of the world’s leading chipmakers have shifted production to Taiwan. He added that Taiwan would become the world base for 300mm wafer fabs.
While the booking/billing (B/B) ratio of the world chipmaking equipment market increased to 1.2 in April, Applied Materials Taiwan’s B/B ratio reached 1.47. Du predicted that Taiwan could become the world’s largest chipmaking base. He attributed the hefty business growth in Taiwan to the strong investments in 300mm wafer fabs.
Du emphasized that Applied Materials will improve its service and component support as the centerpiece of its efforts in Taiwan. He noted that chipmakers in Taiwan have been advancing quickly and that his company would need to work hard to keep pace with their equipment needs.