June 24, 2008 – The photoresist market managed to grow for the sixth straight year in 2007, driven by demand for 193nm deep ultraviolet and consumption in Asia, according to recent data from Gartner.
Total photoresist sales for all resist used in semiconductor manufacturing topped $1.2B, growth of about 14.5% year-on-year. Volume consumption expanded 4.2% due to ramp-up in unit sales. Regional growth was strongest in Asia-Pacific (27.7%), roughly twice as much as next-place Japan (13.9%), while Europe and the Americas were nearly flat (1.1% and 0.6% respectively).
Top photoresist suppliers didn’t change their familiar rankings, though some with better positioning in 193nm DUV did better than others, Gartner noted. JSR beat overall growth by more than 19% and expanded its lead over the rest of the field. No.2 Tokyo Okha grew at half the market’s overall pace, and No.3 Rohm & Haas managed just ~5% growth, so both lost marketshare. Shin-Etsu’s near exclusive focus on 193nm DUV helped it pick up a few points of marketshare.
193nm resist sales accounted to 28% of total sales in 2007 as its use increased in production. 193nm was “the battleground that would define share gains and losses in 2007,” Gartner analyst Klaus Rinnen writes in a research note, though he noted “surprise moves” by Shin-Etsu and later JSR in 248nm DUV as well.
Rinnen projects 2008 photoresist sales to slow to 6% growth, as continued 193nm DUV adoption (dry and immersion) is counterbalanced by slowing overall semiconductor growth and pricing pressures on resist products. Those who are strongly aligned with 193nm DUV will benefit the most, Rinnen writes, as they did in 2007 — and marketshare numbers are now tight enough that some positions might change as a result.