Analyst: Chip use slowing, but sputtering market still growing through 2012

April 21, 2008 – The global market for sputtered films and sputtering targets should grow from $2.82B in 2007 to $5.88B in 2012, for a CAGR of 15.8%, according to data from market research firm BCC Research.

The company breaks down the data into several categories of total coated area, consumed target material and units, and the value of the consumed material, which is used in manufacturing semiconductors as well as related sectors such as passive components, recording heads, flat-panel displays, data storage media, and photovoltaic cells.

Nearly 1.3M sputtering targets were used in 2007, amounting to about 1.22M sq. m of thin films, the firm calculates. That should rise to 1.98M sq. m by 2012, for a CAGR of 10.2%.

Microelectronics historically has been the biggest user of sputtering targets, but that should change by 2012 due to the transition to copper wiring and electroplating as a thin-film deposition method, as well as introduction of alternative manufacturing technologies that will mean less use of sputtering processes.

Still, growth in sales/use of sputtering targets will continue, driven by use in fabrication of other fast-growing applications such as displays and solar cells, the firm notes. Also helping expansion of the sputtering target market is availability of new target compositions for emerging applications, availability of raw materials and process tools, and more use of the process in developing countries.


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