VLSI Research, the industry market research firm, has said that
critical subsystems suppliers that provide components and larger
integrated systems to semiconductor and photovoltaic equipments
suppliers saw sales boosted by the growth in the PV industry and sales
in the flat panel sector as revenues in semiconductor were lacklustre
“This will be remembered as the year when the photovoltaic industry emerged as a key opportunity for subsystems suppliers and provided a timely boost in sales for those companies actively addressing this market,” commented John West, Managing Director of VLSI Research Europe.
Carl Zeiss SMT retained the top spot as strong demand for high-value lenses used in immersion and dry 193nm lithography tools drove the German company’s subsystems revenues up 22 percent to $836 million. VLSI Reaserch noted that Gigaphoton saw revenues grow by 50 percent in 2007, which resulted in the lithography laser supplier moving up five places to enter the Top Ten for the first time in 9th position.
None of the top six positions changed in 2007 when compared to 2006.
Suppliers specifically targeting the PV industry, such as Edwards, remained in second place with revenues of $639 million. MKS Instruments remained in third place with subsystems sales of $568M. Ebara jumped from 9th position to 7th this year with strong sales for dry pumps and ozone subsystems, which resulted in a 24 percent growth in revenues, according to the market research firm.
The top ten suppliers account for over half of the total revenues of the Critical Subsystems industry. This compares to the combined market share of 41 percent that the Top Ten Suppliers held in 2000.
The market research firm sees this as a sign of the continued consolidation within the industry. Overall, sales reached $6.99 billion in 2007, still 4 percent short of the peak level of $7.31 billion in 2000, VLSI Research said.