Applied Materials Yu Ding Lu: Semiconductor Remanufacturing in 2012

Mobile devices will become an important driver for the recovery of the semiconductor industry in 2012. In particular, after the overall economic environment has become clearer, the strong development momentum of mobile devices is expected to drive the rapid recovery of demand for semiconductor components. As for the panel and solar energy industries, the rebound rate is relatively slow.

Yu Dinglu, vice president of Applied Materials and general manager of the global semiconductor business service group, said that due to the fact that the global economy is currently in an uncertain state of chaos, panel makers, solar energy companies, and semiconductor fabs are taking a more optimistic view of revenue growth in 2012. Be cautious and conservative. However, once the crisis of the European debt crisis is controlled in 2012, semiconductor components will be able to benefit from the rising demand for mobile devices and regain their enthusiasm.

Yu Dinglu, vice president of Applied Materials and general manager of global semiconductor business services group, said that once the global economy is controlled in 2012, the demand for semiconductor components is expected to drop first.

Yu Dinglu further pointed out that although the business climate in 2012 is not as good as this year, it is actually not lower than the financial tsunami in 2009. In particular, the recent wave of mobile devices set off by tablet PCs and smart phones has once again driven demand for semiconductor devices, prompting rapid growth in demand for mobile devices, and injecting a strong boost to the industry. However, in contrast, the panel and the solar energy industry may be more difficult to achieve growth in 2012 due to factors such as the need to adjust production capacity and the imbalance between supply and demand.

It is understood that thanks to the growth of mobile devices and clean energy and other industrial trends, applied materials reached a record high of 10.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, breaking the company’s revenue record at the peak of 2007. Among them, 2011 accounted for more than 50% of semiconductor manufacturing equipment revenue, followed by panel manufacturing equipment and solar manufacturing equipment. Yu Dinglu expects that the revenue ratio of semiconductor equipment will increase to 60% to 70% in 2012, while the revenue ratio of manufacturing equipment such as panels and solar energy will decrease slightly.

On the other hand, due to the fact that Lam Research, a semiconductor manufacturing equipment manufacturer, agreed to purchase Novellus Systems for US$3.3 billion, it will threaten the current leading position of application materials for semiconductor manufacturing equipment suppliers. In response, Yu Dinglu believes that the applied materials will continue to invest in both semiconductor equipment technology and personnel training. In addition to continuing to invest at least US$1 billion in R&D equipment every year, the company is working with customers such as semiconductor fabs in South Korea and Taiwan. The cooperation is also very close. Eighty-seven strongholds have been established in 19 countries around the world to provide technical support to customers in the first place. Plus, currently, the company’s technical patents have already reached 9,500. As a result, the application materials have already been prepared for competitors to compete for market share through mergers and acquisitions.

On the other hand, according to Gartner, an international research and consulting agency, the total amount of global semiconductor equipment spending in 2012 was due to the impact of natural disasters and man-made factors in the European debt crisis, bad water in Thailand, and continued weakness in the personal computer (PC) industry. The estimate will be substantially reduced from $64.24 billion in 2011 to $51.7 billion. At the same time, the research institute further predicted that the overall global economic downturn will likely continue until the end of the second quarter of 2012, and the supply and demand of the entire industry will be after inventory clearing, production capacity adjustment and stability of the European debt crisis relative to 2011. There is a chance to restore balance.

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