Background on the used Semiconductor Equipment market

For many years, the used semiconductor equipment market has been an important part of the IC manufacturing supply chain. In fact, nearly all chipmakers have bought used tools over the years. Buying used equipment is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to fill a particular need in both 200mm and 300mm fabs.

But after years of flying under the radar, the used IC equipment market is heating up. Today, in fact, demand for 200mm used gear is robust. There are even shortages of certain and critical used gear in the marketplace.

But buying used fab tools is a challenging process. Today, there are more than 100 entities selling used tools. By some estimates, the used tool business is roughly 10% of the overall wafer fab equipment (WFE) market.In total, the WFE market is expected to reach about $30 billion in 2014. So, used equipment is roughly a $3 billion business.

The used equipment market gained traction more than a decade ago, when many chipmakers migrated from 200mm to 300mm fabs, causing an excess of used 200mm tools to hit the open market. “And as equipment companies went out of business or were acquired over the years, there was no longer support for certain types of tools, But the tools were still out there and were productive.

The market has transitioned today into a more sophisticated business. As more companies have demanded a more responsive used equipment infrastructure, the service level has gone up.”

Still, that doesn’t make it any easier to source used gear. Today there are around 100 companies that sell used equipment. Of those, there are about 30 companies that are relatively larger and well-known like Solutions on Silicon.

To avoid major problems, we suggests that buyers should follow one simple rule, work with suppliers that can provide long-term supportIn with >10 fte (engineers) work with companies that are >5 years in business.

eBay, possibly the world’s largest seller of used equipment and spare parts. “Literally, thousands of spare parts are sold on eBay, this is a buyer beware market. Beware of the knockoffs. They are cheap, but they are cheap for a reason. There are a large percentage of parts that are sold on the Internet today that don’t work or don’t fit.” SoS operates a well organized Ebay webshop please feel free to check and read what others tell about the SoS Ebay webshop. We also buy true other Ebay shops and after many years we know where to buy and where not to buy. We offer this service also to our customers for a small fee we take the risk and guarantee working parts.