300mm is the new 200mm, said GlobalFoundries' David Duke, during a presentation titled 'Used Equipment Market' at the recently held Semicon West 2013 in San Francisco, USA. Used semiconductor equipment sourcing and sales is a very interesting challenge.
Powerchip and ProMOS jumpstarted the market. Now, there is a broadening
user base. There is an unexpected uptake by analog and power device
producers to achieve economies of scale. There has been legacy logic
scaling. Also, the 200mm fabs are being upgraded to 300mm with used
equipment. Many 300mm tools can “bridge” to 200mm easily.
tools are seeding the ecosystem. Third parties are also able to support
refurb as well as tool moves. However, we need more! Software licensing
is becoming a smaller hurdle. There has been no over-supply yet!
what are the 'rough' rules of thumb for 300mm? First, there are
approximately 1,500 individual tools in the open market. Few sellers
know the values as the market is still developing. Twenty percent of the
transactions drive 80 percent of sales. Today, the number of 300mm
buyers is around 1/10th the number of 200mm buyers!
Lithography has been the biggest difference. Leading edge DRAM is far more expensive in lithography. Lithography
has seen the most dramatic financial effects with explosive pricing in
technology (immersion) and the need for capacity (two-three critical
passes vs. one with dual/triple gate patterning. As of now, financial
shocks and bankruptcies are the main drivers for used 300mm.
200mm is now the new 150mm! The 200mm OEM support is starting to dry
up. It is nearly impossible to compete in productivity vs. 300mm.
Oversupply is causing values to stay suppressed. The only bright spot
being: there is still strong demand for complete fabs. The 200mm market
split is roughly by 40 percent Asia and 60 percent rest of the world.
So, what are the likely alternative markets for 200mm and 300mm fabs? These are said to be MEMs and TSV, LEDs and solar PV.