by John Ellis, SEMI
February 12, 2010
For the lifetime of the semiconductor industry, reduced cost and increased functionality have driven end applications and sales. The main lever inachieving both of these has been through the ever-advancing reduction in feature size achieved through the inventiveness and hard work of the engineers and scientists in the industry, government, and universities. Increased functionality through enhanced chip and system design and ingenious software add to the remarkable improvement in electronic systems capability. All of this growth has been built on the performance of the chips themselves. It is no surprise that manufacturers continue to strive for the next improvement, as it is the lifeblood of the entire supply chain.
The changing nature of the industry has presented manufacturers with new realities. The semiconductor industry went through an extended time of incredible growth up until the dot-com bubble. However, growth has slowed considerably as the industry has matured and saturated numerous market segments. The slow growth has led to a significant reduction in the number of fabs required to meet market demand and a smaller market for the suppliers of capital equipment, which ultimately limits the overall amount of R&D resources the supplier community has available for continued improvements…
Read More at SST Magazine Website (entire article is on their site)