After a strong first half of 2012, the signals from the industry thus far into the third quarter are somewhat mixed. The macroeconomic conditions around the world are uneven, and in some cases, challenging. In our semiconductor markets, while trends appear to remain strong at the advanced nodes, we are seeing moderating trends for 32-nanometer and older legacy node IC production on the part of some of our customers. Notwithstanding the near-term uncertainty, we're confident and optimistic about our prospects.
Last week, 2 of the industry's leading companies announced a major investment agreement, which is expected to accelerate the development of 450-millimeter wafer production capability as well as EUV. We view this as a long-term positive for Entegris, which clearly affirms the industry's path toward these critical next-generation technologies. In order to understand the significance of 450-millimeter and EUV technology to Entegris, it is helpful to focus on both the direct and indirect ways in which these developments are tied to our own investments.
During a recent analyst day, we announced that we will continue to pursue investments targeting 3 of the fastest-growing and most critical areas of the semiconductor fab: lithography, wet etch and clean and CMP. These investments are designed to ensure that Entegris will continue to grow faster than our industry and remain relevant, vibrant and indispensable to our customers for many years. To be sure, we are directly exposed to both 450-millimeter and EUV to our early investments in FOUP and multi-application carrier shippers for 450-millimeter shippers. These products are already being used by many OEMs and device makers to move test and development wafers through their new tools. In the case of EUV, several Entegris technologies are represented in the form of radical parts, high-performance coatings and unique filtration products. As important however, is the fact that 450-millimeter wafers will make their first significant inroads into fabs at the 1x node. In other words, the first production 450-millimeter wafers will be used to produce devices with circuit linewidth of less than 20 nanometers. The industry's adoption of a larger wafer size not only presents a number of unique technological challenges that will compound further the challenges of achieving the levels of purity in the fab process and materials required at these advanced 1x nodes.
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