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Industry news

Global Semiconductor Industry Witnessed Flat Marke...

January 29, 2013


Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Databeans

The global semiconductor market witnessed another flat market for the year 2012 with sluggish demand across all market segments resulting from ling...

Semiconductor R&D spending rises 7% in 2012, says...

February 7, 2013


Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Thursday 7 February 2013]

Spending on R&D by chip companies grew 7% in 2012 to a record-high US$53 billion even though the semiconductor market declined 1% to US$317.6 bill...

Econometric Forecast: Semiconductor growth should...

March 16, 2013


Solid State Technology | Volume 56 | Issue 2 | February | 2013

The weakness in economic growth spills into end products containing semiconductors in 2012 and early 2013, according to a new report from Linx Cons...

Top 25 semiconductor companies in 2012, ranking by...

March 29, 2013


IC Insights

IC Insights has updated the top 25 semiconductor companies which include merchant chip makers, foundries and fables companies. The top 25 worldwi...

Eleven companies move up in Q1’13 top 20 semi supp...

May 23, 2013


Solid State Technology


Later this month, IC Insights’ May Update to The 2013 McClean Report will show a ranking of the top 25 semiconductor suppliers in 1Q13.  A previe...

Fab equipment spending: 23% growth for 2014

June 4, 2013


SolidState Technology


Fab equipment spending will grow two percent year-over-year  (US$ 32.5 billion) for 2013 and about 23 to 27 percent in 2014 ($41 billion) accordi...

Semiconductor Market Back to Healthy Growth

August 29, 2013


by BillJewell


The worldwide semiconductor market is back to a healthy level of growth. WSTS data shows the 2Q 2013 global semiconductor market was up 6.0% from 1Q...

Semiconductor equipment market to see big jump in...

September 15, 2013



The semiconductor fab equipment market is heading for a big growth in 2014. SEMI, the industry Association for semiconductor equipment manufacturers...

Semiconductor Materials Market to Approach $50 Bil...

October 1, 2013


By Lara Chamness, senior manager, market analysis, SEMI


Given the industry’s anemic performance during the first part of the year, a number of analysts have recently downgraded their 2013 semiconductor rev...

Expect big changes to 2013 Top 20 Semi Supplier ra...

November 19, 2013


Later this month, IC Insights’ November Update to the 2013 McClean Report will show a preliminary ranking of the top 25 semiconductor suppliers in 20...

Americas Region Remains Leader in Industrial Chip...

Despite years of outsourcing and offshoring, the Americas region continues to lead the world in terms of spending on semiconductors for industrial ele...

Semiconductor Sales Recover in 2013_Micron Surges...

December 3, 2013

Following a 2.5 percent decline in 2012, the global semiconductor market has regained its footing in 2013 with revenue set to expand by nearly 5 perce...

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Company news

A big dream is on the move

Yen Choo, left, and Yu-Hui Liao with the VISL Autoscanner they built in their office at the Business Enterprise Center. (Andy Cripe/Gazette-Ti...

Chinese New Year's Greetings from VISL

Chinese New Year's Greetings from VISL

Dear Mr./Mrs.,

The team at VISL wishes you a Happy Chinese New Year!!! We would like to share...

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A big dream is on the move

May 08, 2010 7:00 am  •  By Matt Neznanski, Gazette-Times reporter


Yen Choo, founder of VPD Integration Service, is preparing his first product for shipment to a semiconductor fabrication plant in Korea. The machine — containing plastic bottles, tubes, electronics, wires and a robot arm — is big enough that it doesn’t fit out the door of his south Corvallis office space. So he’s taken off the sheetrock, exposing stud walls and conduits in preparation for the move.

“We’ll just go right out the wall,” he said.

VPD, a tenant in the Business Enterprise Center (BEC), the Corvallis business incubator, has plans to sell three to five of the $550,000 to $650,000 machines a year. Each is built individually at the BEC and takes about four to five months to construct.

Choo’s machine tests for the presence of heavy metals in silicon wafers, the base material for microchips. VPD stands for vapor phase deposition, the process by which acid is evenly distributed over the wafer in preparation to begin the testing process.

Semiconductor companies test one wafer in every batch of 25 for contaminants, looking for metals on the order of parts per trillion.

Choo previously worked for GeMeTec Inc., a German company that made similar testing machines and had great success bringing their testing products to Asian semiconductor plants. The company moved Choo to Austin, Texas, to put his experience to use in the U.S. market. But when the industry took a nosedive in 2008, just weeks after Choo relocated, GeMeTec went bankrupt.

“I didn’t want to stay, I didn’t know anybody there,” he said. “My wife’s sister lives in Corvallis, so we came up here to have someone else take care of us for a while.”

After about six months of soul-searching, Choo decided to take his knowledge and try to recapture some of the market vacated by his former employer. That’s when he found the BEC.

“I know all the customers and I’m very familiar with the process,” Choo said. “It’s a very small market.”

Besides offering space to plan and build the testing machines, the BEC provided Choo with business advising, other BEC tenants who contracted to write software and even stepped in to help Choo navigate the State Department.

When he decided to start his own business, Choo returned to Taiwan to ship his remaining belongings to Corvallis. But he was stopped when he tried to return to the United States because his visa had changed, and he would have to wait two years to return, according to Kathleen Hutchinson, executive director of the BEC.

Hutchinson said Choo was in the process of preparing to return to Taiwan — closing his local residence, taking his children out of school — when the center put him in contact with a representative for U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, whose congressional district includes Corvallis.

“He didn’t know anyone else here, and because he was affiliated with the BEC, we were able to make the necessary connections,” she said.

Just one other company is building products such as VPD, but they rely on hand-testing. Choo’s automated process prevents the chance of breaking expensive wafers and can accommodate up to 18-inch discs — material that is difficult and repetitive for people to effectively handle manually.

“With my size, I think I’m pretty safe,” Choo said. “I hope.”

Matt Neznanski can be reached at 758-9518 or

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