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April 9th, 2010
Next fab wave: LEDs
Needless to say, fewer semiconductor fabs are being built these days, and even the solar market has cooled a bit. So what's the next big thing for fabs? Try LEDs.
Rising LED demand for lighting apps and TVs has semiconductor titans like Samsung and TSMC jumping into the market, and is fueling sales growth for equipment makers from Aixtron to Veeco. An investment banking firm has just upgraded its forecast for Veeco, and Applied Materials Inc. is looking to enter the LED tool market.
Predictably, lead times for LED gear, such as metal-organic chemical-vapor (MOCVD) deposition systems, are already extending and "may bring uncertainty to capacity expansion plans," Clark Tseng, an analyst with SEMI Taiwan, states in a new report.
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