August 8, 2006 – Continued strong demand for semiconductors, particularly in North America and Asia-Pacific, is keeping not only chipmakers busy, but it’s turning into a great year for chemical and materials suppliers as well, according to a report from The Information Network.
The firm projects the worldwide market for chemicals and materials used in semiconductor manufacturing will grow an even 20.0% in 2006, following sluggish 6.1% growth in 2005. “The market is being driven by strength in demand for CMP pads and slurries, along with increased sales of deep ultraviolet photoresists and related products in all regions,” according to Robert Castellano, president of the New Tripoli, PA-based analyst market research firm.
The big winner in the market is the silicon wafer sector, enjoying heavy demand not only from the semiconductor industry but also a surge in demand from the solar-cell sector, which is hungry for all the silicon it can get until its own crop of dedicated wafer supply capacity can come online within the next couple of years. The silicon wafer sector is seen growing 21.9% in 2006, thanks to higher pricing, increased volume demand for wafers of all sizes, and the ongoing ramp-up of 300mm capacity, noted Castellano.
The firm pegs Shin-Etsu Handotai as the leader in the wafer market, with a 33% share, folllowed by Sumco (19.9%) and MEMC (13.5%).