April 30, 2007 – The market for chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) equipment and materials kept apace with the overall semiconductor equipment market in 2006, growing at about 24%, but despite a growing number of competitors two stalwarts still dominate the market, according to market research firm The Information Network.
After mirroring the overall chip tool sector’s growth (23%) in 2006, the CMP market should also move alongside it in 2007, with about a 3% decline, the firm noted, adding that the materials segment of CMP will grow ~15%.
Memory firms’ conversion to copper damascene for both DRAM and NAND flash operation will drive use of copper CMP slurries, said Robert Castellano, president of the market research firm. NOR flash manufacturers are already migrating to copper interconnects, to be followed by several NAND makers this year, he noted. On the DRAM side Micron is already using copper interconnects, with other DRAM manufacturers following suit later this year and into 2008.
Applied Materials and Rohm and Haas maintained their significant market leads in their respective CMP categories in 2006, according to the firm’s data. AMAT had ~70% share in CMP equipment, nearly 3x more than nearest competitor Ebara, notes the firm. Rohm and Haas led the CMP materials field, which includes slurries and pads, with about 41% share (followed by Cabot with 28% share), and an eye-popping 92% share in the pads segment.