Analyst: Flip-chip demand boosting litho, wet etch markets

July 12, 2006 – A projected 28% compound annual growth rate for the flip-chip packaging sector will give a big boost to vendors of lithography and etch systems, according to data from The Information Network.

Flip-chips represented 5.3% of all ICs shipped in 2005 (5.9 billion out of 111.0 billion total chips), and will double to 10.6% of all ICs shipped by 2009 (16.7 billion out of 156.9 billion), noted the New Tripoli, PA-based market research firm. That 28% CAGR is nearly four times the growth rate of overall IC unit shipments projected over the same period.

As a result of flip-chip demand, the market for bumping and advanced packaging equipment is also expanding rapidly. The lithography market is seen growing an eye-popping 75% in 2006, and will exceed $50 million in 2009, for a CAGR of 32%. Under-bump metallization wet etch tools are seen growing at a 49% CAGR clip to nearly $100 million by 2009.

Ultratech led the lithography sector in 2005 with more than 60% share, but faces strong competition from other litho techniques and emerging nonlithographic pattern delineation methods, noted Robert Castellano, president of the research firm. SEZ led the wet etch tool market with a 50% share, focusing on its single-wafer process approach.

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