By David Faulkner
Executive VP, Sales and Marketing
SEMICON Japan was held at the Makuhari Messe, near Chiba Japan, from December 7-9. It overlapped with the PV Japan 2011 event, held on December 5-7, due to the request from Japan's government agencies to delay the event from its original July schedule in order to conserve energy and resources after the devastating Tohoku-Kanto earthquake and tsunami. I attended both the SEMICON Japan and PV Japan events along with David Francis, the Cimetrix Product Manager, and Kerry Iwamoto, the Director of Cimetrix K.K. While Cimetrix did not have a booth, we had a strong presence in booths of our distributors - Rorze and Meiden. Both booths were on main aisles of the show and saw plenty of traffic.
In the Rorze booth, Cimetrix software was highlighted with marketing content and demonstrated running a 450mm vacuum cluster and EFEM. This generated lots of attention on the main aisle. Rorze has a very unique offer for the equipment maker because they can supply the equipment hardware platform along with all Cimetrix software, particularly Cimetrix CIMControlFramework. Rorze offers true one stop shopping when developing a new machine.
Meiden is our new distributor in Japan, and they dedicated a large part of their booth to highlight Cimetrix products and the EDA (Interface A) solution they have designed for a major memory manufacturer in Japan. Meiden engineers are now trained in Cimetrix software products and they are supporting Cimetrix customers in Japan. Their offering is unique because they supply industrial PCs to a large percentage of Japanese equipment suppliers and have an army of integration engineering resources to help equipment suppliers.
The show was crowded, and apprehension existed as the industry ponders the European debt crisis and smaller growth for both chip sales and equipment sales in 2012. There was also a lot of excitement and enthusiasm as the industry contemplates 450mm manufacturing and Interface A deployments to GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Toshiba and TSMC.
It will be an interesting year as we see what develops.