Worldwide semiconductor wafer-level manufacturing equipment market declined 1% in 2015

Worldwide semiconductor wafer-level manufacturing equipment revenue totaled $33.6 billion in 2015, a 1 percent decline from 2014, according to final results by Gartner, Inc. The top 10 vendors accounted for 77 percent of the market, down slightly from 78 percent in 2014.

“Slowing demand for key electronics end markets, combined with looming oversupply in memory, prompted semiconductor manufacturers to adopt conservative capital spending plans in 2015, which impacted spending on WFE,” said Bob Johnson, research vice president at Gartner. “Strength in memory spending was not sufficient to overcome caution in logic markets as major producers focused on logic process upgrades instead of adding new capacity.”

Applied Materials retained the No. 1 position in the WFE market with 1.3 percent growth (see Table 1). The industry’s investments in 3D device manufacturing, fin field-effect transistor (FinFET) and 3D NAND were the main drivers for the company’s growth in 2015. Lam Research experienced the strongest growth of the top 10 vendors in 2015, moving into the No. 2 position. The move of the industry to 3D device manufacturing pushed the company to 24.7 percent growth. Lam continues to be the dominant conductor etch manufacturer, but competition in the etch and deposition segment is expected to be fierce moving forward.

Table 1. Top 10 Companies’ Revenue From Shipments of Total Wafer-Level Manufacturing Equipment, Worldwide (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

Rank 2015

Rank 2014

Vendor

2015

Revenue

2015 Market Share (%)

2014

Revenue

2014-2015 Growth (%)

1

1

Applied Materials

6,420.2

19.1

6,335.1

1.3

2

4

Lam Research

4,808.3

14.3

3,857.0

24.7

3

2

ASML

4,730.9

14.1

5,634.5

-16.0

4

3

Tokyo Electron

4,325.0

12.9

4,666.7

-7.3

5

5

KLA-Tencor

2,043.2

6.1

2,129.2

-4.0

6

6

Screen Semiconductor Solutions

971.5

2.9

1,128.0

-13.9

7

10

Hitachi High-Technologies

788.3

2.3

937.3

-15.9

8

7

Nikon

724.2

2.2

818.1

-11.5

9

9

Hitachi Kokusai

633.8

1.9

599.3

5.7

10

13

ASM International

582.5

1.7

557.2

4.5

Others

7,576.7

22.5

7,271.2

4.2

Total Market

33,604.3

100

33,933.6

-1.0

Source: Gartner (April 2016)

“Capital spending in 2015 was selective, with logic manufacturers focused on upgrades and the latest technology buys, while memory added new capacity in response to increased demand and favorable pricing,” said Mr. Johnson. “However, there was another factor at work: Both the yen and euro declined significantly against the dollar in 2015. In a market which was essentially flat over the previous year, the changes in these exchange rates had a noticeable effect, especially in the lithography segment, where all tools are priced in either euros or yen.”

In dollar terms, lithography dropped 13 percent, the largest decline of any of the major segments. Two segments were especially strong: The ion implant segment grew 24 percent, and the material removal and clean segment grew 6 percent. Process control overall declined 2.5 percent, with the optical patterned wafer inspection segment dropping 15 percent as manufacturers held back on purchases of new inspection tools.

Additional information is provided in the Gartner report “Market Share: Semiconductor Wafer-Level Manufacturing Equipment, Worldwide, 2015.” The report provides rankings and market share for the top 10 vendors. In 2015, Gartner changed the segment reporting to focus on wafer-level manufacturing and is no longer providing segment details for die-level packaging or automatic test. This report is limited to wafer-level manufacturing equipment.

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