Companies in this industry make wafer processing equipment, semiconductor assembly and packaging equipment, and other machinery used to produce semiconductors. Major companies include Applied Materials, GT Advanced Technologies, Lam Research Corporation, and Veeco Instruments (all based in the US), as well as ASML Holding (the Netherlands) and Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and Tokyo Electron Limited, both of Japan.
Demand is driven by semiconductor production, consumer interest in electronic products, and corporate spending on information technology. The profitability of individual companies depends on managing costs while investing in new technologies. Large companies have advantages in offering broad product lines to leading semiconductor manufacturers. Small companies can compete effectively by serving niche manufacturers. The US industry is highly concentrated: The top 50 companies account for about 95% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include etching and micro-lithography equipment, thin-layer deposition machinery, wafer processing equipment, semiconductor assembly and processing machinery, and surface mount machinery for the manufacture of printed circuit boards. Many providers additionally offer software and services. Some companies have leveraged their expertise in semiconductor equipment to manufacture similar machinery for making solar and display products such as solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and flat panel screens for TVs, personal computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.