The solar industry challenged semiconductor equipment manufacturers during the Photon Technology show in Munich in April this year, to better address their needs. While in the past, they had to make do with equipment originally developed for the semicon industry, they are pushing the equipment suppliers to build specifically for them.
Looks like, not only the equipment and yield management solutions/services vendors (like KLA-Tencor, Applied Materials etc.), but also the EDA vendors are jumping on this bandwagon; in the process also attempting to improve their bottom line by leveraging from this rapidly growing industry; especially important in times when the forecasts for the semicon industry do not appear too rosy.
With limited resources and the present state of economy, hope this does not come at the cost of inadequately addressed solutions to UDSM design related challenges.