According to Nikkei Asia, the lead time of some key semiconductor manufacturing equipment has been extended to 12 months, which will slow down the capacity expansion plans of chip manufacturers, packaging and testing service providers.

The report pointed out that there are at least four types of important equipment in short supply, including wire bonding, wafer dicing, chip testing, and laser drilling.

The report stated that the lead time for wire bonding machines used in chip packaging processes provided by Singapore company Kulicke & Soffa has been extended to 10 to 12 months.

According to industry insiders, the wafer dicing machine is a device that cuts wafers into chips, and Disco occupies a large global market share of this device. The lead time is usually 1-3 months, but currently it has reached 5-8 months. In addition, the lead time of chip testers manufactured by Advantest in Japan and Teradyne in the United States has also increased.

Mitsubishi Electric, the market leader of laser drilling machines, has warned customers that from now on, the lead time of some tools has exceeded 12 months, and the lead time of high-end chip substrates has been extended to 52 weeks.

A director of a chip packaging substrate company told Nikkei that some customers ordered 50 or even 100 machines from Mitsubishi at one time. However, Mitsubishi informed them that they would not be able to ship until next year. Now their production capacity has been ordered because of strong demand.