Novellus beefs up tool supply chain

December 6, 2007 – Novellus Systems says its refurbished equipment business has reeled in about 30 new customers in the past two years, with strong demand particularly from Japan.

The company’s qualified license partners include Kotec (Japan), Fairtech (Taiwan), and Maestech (Korea) in Asia, as well as Entrepix, Simple Technical Solutions, Surplus Process Equipment Corp. (SPEC), Concept Systems Manufacturing, and Provano Engineering in North America and Europe.

The highest demand is coming from Japan, where dozens of 150mm-200mm fab lines focus on niche and cost-sensitive products such as logic chips for children’s toys, the company noted.

“While 300mm fabs continue to be the most productive option, they do not fit the needs of smaller wafer fabs targeted at specific niche markets,” and refurbished systems offer the ability to add tools at the lowest possible capital cost, explained David Celli, VP and GM of Novellus’ refurbished systems business, in a statement.

Novellus cited data from Gartner projecting the refurbished semiconductor equipment market will grow to about $2.26B by 2010.


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