Photoresist market snapshot for semiconductor fab

June 23, 2011Photoresist revenues will grow at about 5% for the next several years, says Techcet Group. Consolidation is long overdue among resist suppliers, and EUV may be the last straw. For materials — resins, PACs and PAGs — supply is abundant.

2010 photoresist sales climbed to 93% of the 2007 peak, says Techcet Group, which sees complete post-recession recovery for the photoresist market in 2011. Revenues are expected to continue to grow at 4.7% over the next 3 years.

Flash memory is driving demand for 193nm immersion lithography with double patterning. DRAM and microprocessors are also influencing the lithography market. About 40% of all semiconductor resist revenue earned is for 193nm (ArF) dry and immersion patterning, even though 248nm and i-line resists are used for most layers produced. This is the result of ArF’s price hike: 3-6 times more expensive than 248nm and i-line resists.

There continues to be an unsustainably high number of suppliers in the resist market,
with at least nine manufacturers offering standard and advanced photoresist products. JSR and TOK share 46% of the global market, with Dow approaching 20% while others hold shares of 8% or less. With a surge in R&D expenses expected as EUV becomes the primary focus at the leading edge, it seems likely that some consolidation is due.

Resist manufacturers are sustained by an abundant supply of resins, PACs and PAGs despite the declining number of materials suppliers. Worldwide, there are only four basic resin suppliers, three of them in Japan. Many solvents and other materials used in the photolithographic process are no longer made in the U.S.

This includes solvents such as IPA and other critical chemistries used for carriers and processes in the semiconductor manufacturing world.

The photoresist ancillary markets, which include strippers/removers, developers, ARCs
and other ancillaries (EBR, HMDS, specialty solvents) are expected to reach a combined $1.22B this year, up 16% over 2009.

Techcet’s report, "Photoresists and Photoresist Ancillaries, Semiconductor Critical Materials Report 2011," covers market analysis, critical supply chain issues and technical trends, and profiles and updates for the eight major photoresist suppliers to the global semiconductor industry.

Techcet Group LLC specializes in technical trend analysis and market analysis for the semiconductor, silicon, PV and related electronics industries. The company has been responsible for producing the International Sematech Critical Material Reports since 2001. For additional information about these reports, www.techcet.com.

Also read: The future of lithography

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