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The Outlook for the Semiconductor Industry

When you think of global semiconductor production in 2022, does the word “commodity” come to mind? How about the word “innovation?” OK, now try “risk?” In 2022 the word “shortages” could be added to this list. But overall, the outlook for semiconductor production worldwide is a mixture of these feelings and fears, thoughts and challenges associated with the relationship between three words, commodity, innovation and risk…

Now look at the Global Semiconductor Industry and the rise and subsequent consolidation of foundries that now dominate the latest mass production of semiconductor technologies. There are three possibly four left standing, TSMC, Global Foundries, Samsung and Intel to some degree. The risks of technological advance in the manufacture, as opposed to design, of semiconductors are being born by these foundries. Their hard-earned and costly manufacturing skills will be generally available to all who pay the price and have the manufacturing volumes that justify the costly tooling and sustaining engineering.

But what of those, who for good reasons of their own, will not or can not utilize the giant foundries? Such companies will use their own creativity and drive to gain a market advantage in their fab owing to their expertise in designing and building their chips. Such companies will need to find ways to lower their manufacturing costs by effectively lowering the cost of ownership of the tools of production.

It is these companies that are the potential customers of S-Cubed tools. Companies requiring equipment no less capable than the large scale foundries, but having a discerning eye for long term value and engineering excellence. As the world seeks to rebound from pandemic related challenges in the semiconductor industry, it is the innovation and willingness to take calculated risks that will define the winners and losers in this part of the semiconductor marketplace. For these companies, the stakes are huge and the potential enormous.

At S-Cubed we believe we are a key part of the value equation for any fab for whom cost of ownership remains an important consideration. For those with infinitely deep pockets, it may not matter but for the rest of us, the value in semiconductor production will be maintained by companies making value oriented tools.  Companies like S-Cubed.

-Gary Hillman
CEO and Founder S-Cubed

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