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Giant robot attacks Makuhari!


Yaskawa Electric's two-story-tall Motoman "super-large LCD substrates transfer robot" (shown here) towered over the show floor at Semicon Japan 2004, held in early December at the Makuhari Messe near Tokyo. Show organizers said both attendee and exhibitor numbers were up, with total attendance reaching 108,410 for the three-day event, an increase of more than 3000 over the previous year's show. The exhibit halls featured 31 more companies and 244 additional booths compared with the 2003 expo, organizers said.

During a press conference at the event, SEMI announced its year-end consensus forecast. The trade association report expects annual global revenues for the semiconductor equipment market to reach $35.31 billion in 2004 (a 59% uptick versus 2003), with sales dropping 5% to $33.49 billion in 2005. More proceeds came from 300-mm tool sales than 200-mm transactions in 2004, according to SEMI president/CEO Stan Myers, a trend that will only intensify in coming years. On the materials side, the 2004 market is forecast to hit $25.98 billion, with 2005 continuing in a positive direction, up 8% to $28.15 billion. The Japanese equipment segment leads all regions, hitting $7.87 billion in 2004, then dropping to $6.79 billion in 2005. The Japanese materials market, also the world's largest, is expected to reach $7.21 billion in 2004 and jump to $7.78 billion in 2005. Japan continues to have the largest installed chipmaking capacity base, noted Myers.

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