Best semiconductor fab tool suppliers: VLSIresearch survey results

May 25, 2012 — VLSIresearch polled semiconductor manufacturers about their tool suppliers, asking chipmakers to rank equipment providers on customer satisfaction. This year’s results show renewed focus on fab needs.

Large suppliers of chip-making equipment


Focused suppliers of chip-making equipment


1 Novellus


1 F&K Delvotec


2 Advantest


2 Oerlikon


3 Teradyne


3 Plasma-Therm


4 Hitachi High-Technologies


4 EV Group




5 LTX – Credence


6 Applied Materials


6 Nanometrics


7 Tokyo Electron


7 Delta Design


8 Kulicke & Soffa


8 Agilent Technologies


9 Hitachi Kokusai Electric


9 Seiko Epson


10 Nikon


10 ACCRETECH – Tokyo Seimitsu


Source: VLSIresearch 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey.

† Rankings for the #4 and 5 positions were determined on ratings carried out to three decimal places.

For the first time in the history of the survey more than half of the suppliers in each category had greater than an 8.0 average rating, compared to two suppliers last year. As a result the average rating for these 10 BEST suppliers was 8.0, an increase of 0.35 points over last year. “This year’s ratings reflect new supplier initiatives to focus on their customers’ satisfaction, with better service and products,” commented G. Dan Hutcheson, Chairman and CEO of VLSIresearch.

Large Suppliers of Chip Making Equipment

Novellus retained its #1 spot this year with an increase of 0.77 points to 8.95. The company’s dedication to customer satisfaction paid off this year by earning the highest ratings among all Large Suppliers in 14 of the 15 rating categories. Advantest and Teradyne improved ranking positions substantially this year while competing for the 2nd and 3rd positions, with Advantest slightly exceeding Teradyne by a mere 0.02 points. Teradyne leaped from the 9th spot and Advantest from 7th, with point increases of 1.35 and 1.01 respectively. Advantest achieved its highest rating in trust in supplier at 8.7; Teradyne in would recommend supplier, also at 8.7.

Although both Hitachi High-Technologies and ASML achieved increased ratings this year, they dropped a slot to 4th and 5th positions as a result of Advantest and Teradyne’s jumps. ASML, well-known for its highly-productive lithography tools earned the highest rating of all Large Suppliers in technical leadership. Hitachi High-Technologies’ highest attribute was in quality of results.

Focused Suppliers of Chip Making Equipment

F&K Delvotec, a supplier of wire bonders, rose to the top spot for the first time this year with a rating of 8.51. The company garnered the highest rating of all Focused Suppliers in nine categories, with its highest rating of 9.0 earned in both field engineering support and support after sales.

Oerlikon retained its #2 rank with a rating of 8.19. This PVD supplier achieved its highest rating of 8.4 in five categories: would recommend supplier, trust in supplier, product performance, usable performance, and uptime.

Plasma-Therm moved up five slots to the 3rd position with a rating of 8.18. Customers applauded this etch & clean supplier as the highest in commitment of all Focused Suppliers as well as a tying for spares support with F&K Delvotec.

Most Improved Suppliers

In Large Suppliers, Teradyne showed the most improvement with its movement up from 9th to 3rd position and a 19% surge in its rating. Teradyne is followed by Applied Materials with a 17% jump in its rating. Nikon closed out this race with an increased rating of 16%.

Nanometrics deserves particular notice in Focused Suppliers with a remarkable 47% climb in its ratings, leaping from the 36th to the 6th slot. LTX-Credence’s significant increase of 33% moved it up from the 31st to the 5th slot. EV Group also showed a notable improvement with a 16% rise from the 15th to the 4th spot.

Stay tuned for additional rankings from VLSIresearch’s survey!

The VLSIresearch annual Customer Satisfaction Survey on Chip Making Equipment allows chip manufacturers to provide feedback on their suppliers. VLSIresearch is a leading provider of market research and economic analysis on the technical, business, and economic aspects within nanotechnology and related industries. Website:

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