By Mark Lapedus
A surge in demand for consumer electronics, communications ICs, sensors and other products has created a shortage in 200mm fab capacity that shows no signs of abating.
None of these chips need to be manufactured using the most advanced processes, and there have been enough tweaks to processes at established nodes to eke even more out of existing processes. But that has left chipmakers struggling to procure 200mm equipment for those fabs as demand for chips at these older nodes continues to rise.
Responding to that demand, Applied Materials, ASML and Lam Research recently re-entered the 200mm equipment market. Now, these companies are making new and select 200mm tools. Other fab tool vendors are also making new 200mm systems and/or beefing up their used equipment efforts.