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Semiconductor Etch Equipment Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

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  • 131 Pages
  • August 2022
  • Region: Global
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 4828430
UP TO OFF until Jun 30th 2023
The Semiconductor Etch Equipment Market is expected to grow by registering a CAGR of 4.42% during the forecast period (2022 - 2027). As memory manufacturers and foundries are increasingly investing in newer and innovative equipment, owing to the increasing chip design cost, the use of new materials, the decreasing linewidths on a chip, and the necessity for integrated and manufacturing processes, the market is witnessing an upward trend.

Key Highlights

  • Etching is one of the vital processes in a semiconductor fabrication cycle. This process eliminates the material from the surface of the semiconductor to generate patterns based on its applications. The growth of the semiconductor etch equipment market is highly dependent on the development of the semiconductor wafer deposition and wafer processing industry.
  • One of the primary elements driving market expansion is an increasing emphasis on consumer electronics. Additionally, industrial automation, the continuous advancements in consumer electronics, and the usage of automotive sensors are increasing semiconductors' applications. Their demand in almost all the industry verticals further supports the growth of the studied market.
  • Many major players are investing in the expansion of their fabrication plants. In February 2022, Bosch disclosed its intention to increase the size of its wafer production facility in Reutlingen, Germany. It plans to spend more than EUR 250 million (USD 278.2 million) by 2025 to build expanded production space and the necessary clean-room amenities. Such expansion plans are fueling the growth of the semiconductor etching equipment market.
  • Additionally, the shifting focus of government bodies toward the semiconductor industry is also a significant factor contributing to the semiconductor etch equipment demand. For example, the government of China is focusing on supporting the chip industry and has planned an investment of over USD 150 billion by 2030 to jumpstart the production of semiconductors.
  • However, semiconductors are a widely traded commodity with a complicated manufacturing supply chain. Overly complex customs and trade procedures, requirements, and practices can dramatically disrupt semiconductor supply chains, causing costly barriers that harm businesses and consumers.
  • Owing to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the industry was riddled with a high deficit and increasing demand, which led to a significant supply chain gap. The initial spread of the virus led to the shutting down or the reduction of foundry capacity utilization, fearing the decreasing demand for the chips across major sectors, like automotive. The diminished output led to a global shortage of semiconductors as the demand increased despite the initial estimates by semiconductor foundries.

Key Market Trends

Conductor Etching to Hold the Largest Market Share

  • Conductor etching equipment is used widely to shape the electrically activated materials used in different parts of the semiconductor device. Even a minimal variation in these small semiconductor structures can lead to an electrical fault impacting the device's performance.
  • The increasing demand for miniaturization of semiconductor circuits is anticipated to catalyze the ever-increasing demand for different types of conductor etching equipment, along with the need for high production of multi-film stacks with the minor fault during the forecasted period.
  • For instance, Hitachi High-Tech has developed the Conductor Etch System 9000 Series to support the next-generation processing of devices at 20nm and below that requires double-patterning, 3D structures, and complex and high-precision processes, including protective layer formation and finishing techniques for new materials. According to the company, the 9000 platform incorporates HHT's new microwave ECR (Electron Cyclotron Resonance) plasma etching chamber that is proven in high volume manufacturing usage.
  • The growing demand for aluminum etch tools for the dynamic RAM in flash and different types of memory devices will create a significant opportunity for conducting etching in the coming years. Apart from that, the growth of usage of conductor etching in Metal Insulator Metal (MIM) capacitors also acts as an opportunity factor for Conductor Etching.

Asia Pacific to Witness Significant Growth

  • The Asia-Pacific region has the most prominent share of global semiconductor foundries, with major companies such as TSMC, Samsung Electronics, etc. Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and China have a significant market share in the region.
  • According to a survey conducted by the Semiconductor Industry Association in July 2021, China has mastered several chip technologies, and its commercial semiconductor industry is still relatively young. Still, the Chinese government is trying to close the gap, investing more than USD 150 billion in semiconductors between 2014 and 2030. Supported by booming markets and these government investments, China is poised to become increasingly competitive in some semiconductor market segments.
  • Additionally, China is also witnessing multiple investments from companies such as TSMC, as well as local companies such as Huawei are entering into producing their chips as the US embargo has made it significantly difficult for Huawei to buy chips, so it has no other alternative but to develop the capability to manufacture for itself. In May 2021, TSMC announced that it would invest USD 2.8 billion in China to ramp up auto chip production and build new Nanjing facilities amid severe shortages. Whereas Huawei intends to produce chips based on the 45nm manufacturing process, where the fab will not be a solution for its smartphones, it may make networking chips for Huawei's 5G kit by the end of 2022.
  • A similar trend has also been observed across other countries in the region. For instance, in February 2022, Lam Research, a US semiconductor equipment company, manufactured next-generation core equipment for semiconductor manufacturing in South Korea. These highly selective etching devices support Gate All Around (GAA) and 3D stacking technology. The new equipment is expected to play an important role in developing Samsung Electronics' next-generation memory and system semiconductors.

Competitive Landscape

The Semiconductor Etch Equipment Market is competitive owing to the presence of several established players. The brand identity associated with the companies has a major influence in this market. Strong brands are synonymous with good performance, so long-standing players are expected to have the upper hand.​​ As the barrier for the new entrants is high in the market due to the high capital incorporated, major players are adopting mergers and acquisition strategies to gain more market share. Some major players operating in the market include Applied Materials Inc., Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., Lam Research Corporation, and Tokyo Electron Limited.
  • December 2021 - Tokyo Electron launched Impressio 2400 PICP Pro, a plasma etch system for processing 8th generation (G8) glass substrates featuring the new PICP Pro chamber for high-resolution processes. The manufacture of G8 displays, mainly used for large TVs and IT products, requires the etch process of a large substrate area utilizing high-density uniform plasma.
  • January 2021 - ULVAC, Inc. announced the launch of the uGmni Series cluster system combining deposition and etch modules' which enables our customers to equip a variety of different process modules, including sputter, etch, CVD, and others on the same transfer core. The company has begun selling production systems using this new platform.

Additional benefits of purchasing this report:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support

Table of Contents

1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3 Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on the Market
5.1 Market Drivers
5.1.1 Increase in Capital Spending on Semiconductor Processing
5.1.2 Rapid Technological Advances and Transition
5.2 Market Restraints
5.2.1 Trade Uncertainties and Semiconductor Memory Markets
6.1 By Product Type
6.1.1 High-density Etch Equipment
6.1.2 Low-density Etch Equipment
6.2 By Etching Film Type
6.2.1 Conductor Etching
6.2.2 Dielectric Etching
6.2.3 Polysilicon Etching
6.3 By Application
6.3.1 Foundries
6.3.2 MEMS
6.3.3 Sensors
6.3.4 Power Devices
6.4 By Geography
6.4.1 North America
6.4.2 Europe
6.4.3 Asia-Pacific
6.4.4 Rest of the World
7.1 Company Profiles
7.1.1 Applied Materials Inc.
7.1.2 Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc.
7.1.3 Lam Research Corporation
7.1.4 Tokyo Electron Limited
7.1.5 Plasma-Therm LLC
7.1.6 Panasonic Corporation
7.1.7 SPTS Technologies Limited (Orbotech)
7.1.8 Suzhou Delphi Laser Co., Ltd
7.1.9 ULVAC Inc.

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Applied Materials Inc.
  • Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc.
  • Lam Research Corporation
  • Tokyo Electron Limited
  • Plasma-Therm LLC
  • Panasonic Corporation
  • SPTS Technologies Limited (Orbotech)
  • Suzhou Delphi Laser Co., Ltd
  • ULVAC Inc.