The global lithography equipment market is characterized by a consolidated landscape with few prominent vendors holding a major chunk of the market, finds Transparency Market Research (TMR). As the cost of acquiring new lithographic equipment is markedly high, there are not too many suppliers in the market. A number of top players are focused on introducing cutting-edge technologies and bringing advancements that tend to increase the cost-efficiency of the entire equipment and of the various functionalities therein, notes TMR. Their efforts directly correlates with improving the profitability of manufacturers in the integrated circuits (ICs) and semiconductors industry. Introducing cost-efficient enhancements in production technology has helped these manufacturers develop advanced ICs with reduced cost per function.
Some of the players operating in the market include Ultratech, SUSS, Canon, Nikon, EV Group, ASML Holding, USHIO America, Inc., Orbotech, and Screen Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd.
The lithography equipment market is projected to rise at a robust CAGR of 15.7% during 2017– 2026. The worldwide sales is anticipated to garner a revenue exceeding US$ 600 million by the end of this period.
The key application areas comprise advanced packaging, MEMS devices, and LED devices, with advanced packaging projected to hold the major revenue share in the global market throughout the forecast period. However, the LED devices segment is estimated to rise at the dominant growth rate over the forecast timeline.
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Among the various regional markets for lithography equipment, Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) leads accounting for the most lucrative market. A burgeoning semiconductor manufacturing industry and the presence of several prominent players in the region account for its prominence. A major chunk of revenue is expected to come from the sales of the equipment.
Growth to ride on Constant Advances in Semiconductor Production Processes
The growth of the global lithography equipment market rides on the back of incessant stride being made by the semiconductor industry in various parts of the world. Lithography equipment is extensively employed in wafer fabrication processes in semiconductor manufacturing and hence occupy a very vital role in the IC production technology. As a result, bringing advancements in lithography equipment directly reflects of the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall production process.
The rapid advances made by the electronics industry in several developing and developed regions has led to proliferating demand for ICs in areas such as memory devices, communication, and sensor devices. The staggering rise in uptake of consumer electronic devices is emerging economies is also bolstering the demand for semiconductor ICs. Furthermore, the uptake of lithography equipment will benefit largely from the rising demand for micro-electromechanical systems and devices.
Developing Next-generation Lithography Technologies gaining Traction, However Challenges Remain
Introducing innovations in lithography equipment to improve their energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness are helping in the rapid expansion of the market. Improvements in production technology are led by recent advancements in lithography equipment, which have helped manufacturers make ICs with remarkably high current density and increased performance. For instance, the advent of 450mm wafers and extreme ultraviolet lithography bodes well for the market.
Although, the focus on developing next-generation technologies for high-volume production of wafers is gaining traction, various challenge are surfacing to the fore. Several concerns about consistent throughput of these technologies will continue to affect their commercialization for some time to come. Nevertheless, the relentless efforts to bring enhancements in lithography equipment and technology will help manufactures address these concerns over time.