The semiconductor capital equipment market is unlike any other. It has a heartbeat known as Moore’s Law whereby the entire semiconductor process is upgraded every two years or so. This means that every couple of years, new fabrication lines (called fabs) are built and kitted-out with new equipment. Not just new equipment, but new types of equipment. Further, each new process is more aggressive than the last, with smaller features, tighter tolerances and smaller margin for error. The current generation has features on the chips that are 20nm across—that’s just a hundred atoms or so. Each fab is a multi-billion-dollar investment. Incredibly, the result of this huge investment are hundreds of millions of cheap chips that power our smartphones, tablets, smart electricity meters and more.
As a result of this relentless treadmill, semiconductor equipment manufacturing is just about the most advanced manufacturing process in the world with tighter tolerances and an insane ramp to production as each new generation of fabs comes online and has to meet their own deadlines to ramp to high-volume manufacturing.
Semiconductor capital equipment companies invest heavily in aggressive research and development (R&D) to maintain their competitive advantage and they need a manufacturing partner who understands the cost and time-to-market pressures that the semiconductor industry imposes on its suppliers. There isn’t time to wait for R&D to be complete before starting to worry about manufacturing—concurrent product development is a requirement not a luxury. And not just hardware, modern semiconductor capital equipment also has a huge software component too.
UCT is recognized as the partner of choice in this market. Semiconductor equipment companies come to UCT since only UCT can offer customers a complete turnkey system integration solution from procurement through engineering to integration and testing. UCT has a team of technicians trained in deposition, metrology, ion implanters, chemical delivery, lithography systems and more. Furthermore, UCT has clean-room manufacturing facilities strategically located across the globe so that they can work closely with their customers. Along with these facilities, UCT provides world-class logistics and supply-chain management services. This accelerates time-to-market, drives costs down, and drives quality up, all extremely important in such an unforgiving market.