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200mm semiconductor manufacturing fabs must produce parts at the absolute lowest possible cost given the highly competitive markets for the analog, power, MEMs and other widely used products they manufacture.
Demand for legacy tools remains strong, but the supply of used platforms is drying up, prompting some suppliers to build new.
The law of supply and demand is holding true in the market for equipment capable of processing 200mm and smaller wafers. Over the past few years, the brisk production of sensors, MEMS, power ICs and other devices which do not require leading-edge processes, has resulted in rising demand for 200mm tools.
Factory-wide continuous improvement programs often include efforts to improve dispatching rules for meeting cycle-time commitments and increase throughput for bottleneck tools.
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