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February 2016

Memory Lane: Far from a Leisurely Stroll

The only semiconductor market segment that has not been taken over by the foundries and still remains dominated by IDMs is the memory sector. The memory market is the last bastion for true IDM manufacturers who must be savvy in the changing trends in end market applications, advanced technology development , and must still determine how much and when to invest in additional capacity.

With only four major players, the decision of when to add capacity should be more straightforward; instead, it’s just as challenging as ever. Large memory fabs are inherently more expensive and riskier than ever.

At their Winter Analyst Meeting on February 12th, Micron’s executives touched on a number of trends that memory manufacturers are addressing.

Used Equipment: 200mm Lives On

The semiconductor industry has always utilized manufacturing assets and technologies longer than originally projected.  Although the most advanced products continue to transition to new technology nodes every two to three years, manufacturing capacity—including the equipment and infrastructure—stays productive for decades.
More than just a means of producing cheap MEMS and sensors, used equipment has been the vehicle to deliver cost effective solutions to expand electronic applications, provide connectivity and enable the control and quantification of everything.  

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