Communication with suppliers in the Ukraine and China have continued to verify expected neon shortages occurring toward the end of 2016. Although supply appears stable now, inventories purchased during the second half of 2015 will deplete inventories on the supplier side toward the end of this year.
“Projections of historical Neon growth can no longer be used to predict the future,” said TECHCET’s President/CEO, Lita Shon-Roy. “Even with the recovery of the Neon supply chain, Neon conservation actions, and new sources in China, we predict that Neon demand will grow faster than Neon supply,” she added. Inventory has caused pricing to degrade, however, prices are expected to rise.
The factors affecting the supply side, along with the demand drivers, are covered in the recently updated Critical Materials Report on Neon, and will be featured at the Critical Materials Conference May 5-6 in Hillsboro.
The largest and most rapidly growing Neon demand drivers are Lasik, OLED/FPD (displays) and DUV lithography. However, Neon gas consumed by DUV excimer laser gases is growing at a faster pace and represents more than 90% of world’s Neon consumption.
Semiconductor lithographic use of Neon is increasing more rapidly than expected for several reasons including the delay of EUVL while demand for finer line width patterning is increasing. In addition, new consumer related markets drive increased usage of legacy device processing. Each increase in the number of lithographic steps increases the need for DUV lithography, and drives up the volume demand for Neon. This is true for V-NAND process flows, as well as DRAM and Logic devices dependent on multi-patterning. Next General Lithography reports continue to support that DUV will keep supporting the industry with potential SAOP being used at the 7nm node.
About The Critical Materials Conference
The Critical Materials Conference, scheduled for May 5-6, in Hillsboro, Oregon is an open forum portion of the Critical Materials Council meetings. Registration is open to the public. For more information on the CMC Conference please go to www.cmcfabs.org/seminars/ .