Global Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment Sales Grew 6%

Regionally, investments in North America, Japan and Europe were below market, while Asia/Pacific led the charge with 14.9% growth.

Worldwide capital equipment spending totaled $44.5 billion in 2007, a 5.9% increase from 2006 revenue of $42.1 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. Analysts said capital equipment sales were predominantly driven by irrationally exuberant memory investments, while logic and foundry investments declined once again.

"Uneven investment behavior, with weakness in logic/foundry and strength in memory-related capacity spending, once again impacted relative equipment market share positions, as well as the regional sales picture in 2007," said Klaus Rinnen, managing vice president for Gartner's semiconductor manufacturing research group."45nm investments ramped more meaningful in 2007 but still accounted for less than 10% of total investment for the year. Regionally, investments in North America, Japan and Europe were below market, while Asia/Pacific again led the charge with 14.9% growth."

Applied Materials remained the market leader, but slightly lost share as it underperformed the market in 2007. TEL grew at nearly twice the rate of the overall market. TEL capitalized on its strong position with memory vendors adding to its dominance in photoresist processing. ASML maintained the No. 3 position, as it continued to distance itself from its nearest competitor based on its strong position in the rapidly expanding 193 nm DUV stepper arena. KLA-Tencor expanded its share in process control although this market segment performed slightly below market in 2007. Lam Research once again well outperformed the market as it expanded its share in the Etch market.

The wafer fab equipment (WFE) segment grew 10%, while back-end equipment (BEE) showed an 8.1% decrease. The packaging and assembly equipment (PAE) segment shrunk 3.7%, and the automated test equipment (ATE) segment dropped 13.7%.

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