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Cimetrix at SEMICON Japan 2011

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 20, 2011 9:19:00 AM

By David Faulkner
Executive VP, Sales and Marketing

It was great to attend SEMICON Japan this year and see our increased presence at the show.  I also wrote about it last year (see: Cimetrix at SEMICON Japan 2010)

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.

Topics: SEMICON Japan, Japan

Cool Biz & Semiconductors in Japan

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 22, 2011 8:41:00 AM

By David Francis

Product Manager

Shortly after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last March, I read an article that talked about the impact to the semiconductor fab lines in Japan. The article indicated that even those Japanese facilities not directly hit by the crisis were still dealing with power outages and aftershocks. The article also talked about how Japan is the leading producer of the raw silicon used in semiconductor manufacturing. It seemed clear that the effects of the disaster would be felt throughout the semiconductor industry.

I had the opportunity to travel to Japan a couple of weeks ago to visit our distributors and customers. It has been a few months since that article was written, so I was curious to see how things were progressing.  I had heard that the Japanese government had requested businesses to take steps to reduce power consumption by 15% to help avoid possible blackouts due to the loss of the power from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant that was damaged by the tsunami last March. Recent news articles also mentioned that companies could be fined if they didn’t hit the reduced power targets. Hearing all this, I wasn’t sure what I would find once I arrived in Japan.

What I found was a country moving forward and doing what was necessary to keep things progressing toward a full recovery. One example is how practices that had been ingrained in the culture over many years were changing as a response to power shortages.  For example, businesses were responding to the government’s requests and turned up the thermostats. Several of our meetings were held in conference rooms where the thermostat read 27°C (about 80°F). In some meetings the air conditioning was turned off altogether.

Another change that was surprising was the change in how people dressed. The Japanese government started the “Super Cool Biz” campaign and asked businesses to change many of their ingrained practices, including a dress code that encouraged short-sleeve shirts instead of suits and ties! Many of the companies I visited also had signs in their lobbies that talked about “Cool Biz.” Everyone seemed to be on board with the initiative – it was mentioned in most of the meetings I attended.

Here is a picture of Dave Faulkner, Kerry Iwamoto, and our Cimetrix Japan financial staff:

 C  Users rschreck Documents Marketing Blogs Japan Cool Environment resized 600

If you want to know more about the Cool Biz campaign, here is an article from The Japan Times: Super Cool Biz.

It is amazing to see how people in Japan pull together when times are tough.  There is no doubt the recovery process will take years. I don’t know what the full effect will be to the semiconductor industry, but the semiconductor equipment companies visited on this trip were all working with determined focus to meet their shipment schedules. The distributors and integrators I met with are continuing to plan for and execute projects to install equipment in new factories.

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, Japan

Cimetrix Japan K.K. Established

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 14, 2010 5:00:00 PM

by Dave Faulkner

Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Cimetrix Japan K.K. was officially incorporated on November 25, 2010.  The purpose of this new company is to demonstrate commitment to the Japanese OEM market, have a dedicated staff to grow Cimetrix business in cooperation with our distribution partners, and to provide even stronger customer support.  The company's directors will be Bob Reback, Dave Faulkner, Jodi Juretich and Kerry Iwamoto. 

The company will be managed by Mr. Kerry Iwamoto as General Manager and Representative Director.   Mr. Iwamoto started his association with Cimetrix as a customer when he worked for Innotech designing semiconductor process equipment.  Recently, he has worked for Cimetrix distributors CIM, ONC and Rorze.  Mr. Iwamoto brings a strong background in the semiconductor industry and Cimetrix products along with close relationships with existing Cimetrix customers in Japan.

Watch for more news as we launch Cimetrix Japan.

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, Japan, Announcements

Cimetrix at SEMICON Japan 2010

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 14, 2010 11:35:00 AM

By Dave Faulkner

Executive VP, Sales and Marketing, Cimetrix

We had a strong showing at SEMICON Japan at the Makuhari Messe December 1 - 3.  Attendance was brisk, and Cimetrix products were on display at both the Meiden and the Rorze booths.  This event was a great opportunity for us, since we have just started Cimetrix Japan K.K. effective November 25, 2010.  The new Cimetrix company will provide both new market development and customer support for the Japan marketplace.

In the Meiden booth, Cimetrix EDA/Interface A products were on display.  In addition, Meiden highlighted the partnership between Meiden, DSD, and Cimetrix, which allows DSD and Meiden to offer complete EDA solutions using Cimetrix technology.  These solutions are available to both equipment suppliers and IC manufacturers, and Meiden listed the benefits and sample architectures for each group. 

 Meiden Booth resized 600

 Meiden Booth Signs resized 600

Cimetrix CIMControlFramework (CCF) was on display at the Rorze booth running a complete 450mm vacuum platform.  Many visitors stopped to watch this powerful demonstration.  Cimetrix products were also highlighted, along with Rorze’s unique ability to deliver a complete hardware/software platform solution for equipment suppliers using Rorze and Cimetrix technology. 

 Rorze Booth resized 600

 Rorze Booth 2 resized 600

One other highlight of the show was visiting the Axcelis booth where they highlighted their Integra plasma dry strip cleaning system that uses the Cimetrix CIMControlFramework.

 Axcelis Booth Integra Tool using CCF resized 600

We also learned at the show that a new top 20 OEM in Japan would adopt Cimetrix connectivity products.  It is great to see how companies are using our solutions to get to their products up and running in wafer fabs around the world.

Thanks to all those people who stopped by the booths.  Please let us know if you need more information about Cimetrix connectivity or tool control solutions.

Topics: Equipment Data Acquisition, Semiconductor Industry, Interface A, CIMPortal, SEMICON Japan, CIMControlFramework, EDAConnect, Data Collection, Japan, Equipment Automation Framework, Rorze

Cimetrix Refocuses in Japan

Posted by Cimetrix on Dec 17, 2009 7:59:00 AM

by Dave Faulkner,
EVP, Sales & Marketing

At SEMICON Japan 2009, Cimetrix announced a transition in its distribution strategy in Japan. Rorze Corporation has been appointed as the exclusive distributor in Japan for Cimetrix Factory Automation and Tool Control products. Rorze provides innovative robotic and wafer handling solutions to the global semiconductor industry. SEMICON Japan Cimetrix RorzeCimetrix and Rorze have been working together for several years with Rorze transitioning the FA for its Sorter line to Cimetrix CIMConnect and CIM300 products, and working closely with Cimetrix to integrate its EFEM and vacuum platforms with the Cimetrix CIMControlFramework tool control software. This technology exchange led to an investment by Rorze in Cimetrix and the appointment of Rorze as the Cimetrix exclusive distributor in Japan. Rorze’s software department has engineers on staff who are familiar with the SEMI FA standards and have used Cimetrix FA and tool control products on previous projects. Watch for more news as this relationship broadens to add new channels throughout Asia.

At SEMICON Japan, Rorze and Cimetrix demonstrated a new 450mm wafer capable vacuum platform. This platform was controlled by Cimetrix CIMControlFramework and was cycling both 300mm and 450mm wafers. It created quite a stir on the main aisle at SEMICON Japan due to the actual moving demonstration and discussions by ISMI about progress on industry usage of 450mm platforms. Please contact Rorze or Cimetrix for more information.

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Topics: SEMICON Japan, CIMControlFramework, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Japan, Rorze

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