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Global Semiconductor Metrology and Inspection Equipment Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

·6-min read

The semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment market (hereafter referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 4,164. 7 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 5,373. 4 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 4.

New York, June 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- announces the release of the report "Global Semiconductor Metrology and Inspection Equipment Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)" -
76% during the period of 2021-2026 (henceforth, referred to as the forecast period). The outbreak of the COVID-19 across the globe has significantly disrupted the supply chain and production of the Semiconductor Metrology and Inspection Equipment market in the initial phase of 2020. For semiconductor manufacturers, the impact was more severe. Due to labor shortages, many of the players in the semiconductor supply chain across the world have reduced or even suspended operations. This has created a bottleneck for end-product companies that depend on semiconductors.?

Key Highlights
Semiconductor metrology instruments include ion mills, C-V systems, interferometers, source measure units (SME) magnetometers, optical and imaging systems, profilometers, reflectometers, resistance probes, resistance high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) systems, and X-ray diffractometers, among others.
According to the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), silicon wafer area shipments in 2019 reached 11,810 million square inches, up from 10,434 million square inches in 2015. It is also projected that the shipments could reach 17,600 million square inches by 2025.
Statistical process control for semiconductor manufacturing enables a company to maximize yield and quality by merely sampling a small number of wafers out of thousands processed daily. Thus, the revenue growth in metrology/inspection systems lags behind the growth in overall equipment.
Many large companies, such as KLA-Tencor and Hitachi High Technologies, are facing competition from smaller and emerging semiconductor equipment companies, which address specialized markets and utilize innovative technology to gain customers.
For instance, RTEC developed a new product, NovusEdge, for bare wafer edge and backside inspection. Edge die yield is becoming more critical as semiconductor manufacturing fabs attempt to save costs by reducing the wafer edge exclusion to produce a larger number of yielding dies per wafer.

Key Market Trends

Lithography Metrology Expected to Witness Significant Growth in the Market

With the continuous transitions, such as miniaturization of nodes and wafer sizes, the growth in demand for increasing wafer sizes for ultra-large-scale integration fabrication technology has fostered the growth of lithography metrology equipment. In addition, a critical dimension scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) is used for measuring the dimensions of the patterns formed on the wafer; the device is used as part of the manufacturing lines of electronic devices. Presently, CD-SEM has been witnessing significant demand, owing to the semiconductor production process.
Semiconductor Metrology and Inspection Equipment vendors are increasingly innovating their offerings to enable miniaturization and reduce lithography wavelength. For instance, ASML’s EUV lithography uses light with a wavelength of 13.5 nanometres, declining nearly 14 times that of other enabling lithography solutions.
Additionally, Market Vendors are increasingly developing advanced CD measurement techniques and services to cater to the increasing demand from the industry to move toward the miniaturization requirements. For instance, In June 2021, EV Group (EVG), a supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology, and semiconductor markets, announced EVG Step-and-Repeat (S&R) Mastering Shop, a new service offering to help customers accelerate the deployment of nanoimprint lithography (NIL) in high-volume manufacturing.
Furthermore, In March 2021, ASML and Heriot-Watt University in Scotland agreed on a five-year partnership to commercialize new laser sources to create a direct route to market for lasers in lithography metrology applications.

Asia Pacific Expected to Witness Significant Growth in the Market

The Asia Pacific is one of the prominent regions for the semiconductor industry in regards to manufacturing and usage. According to SIA, Asia Pacific is the largest regional semiconductor market, and China is the largest single-country market.
Many regions are entering into collaborations and partnerships in the semiconductor metrology/inspection equipment market. For instance, In July 2021, Shenzhen JT Automation Equipment, a Chinese chip production tool manufacturer, announced a legally binding five-year memorandum of understanding with Huawei’s HiSilicon Technologies business. Both firms aim to expand their semiconductor packaging tool development partnership and create a self-sufficient and regulated industry.
The Region is witnessing with development and innovation in the Semiconductor Metrology and Inspection Equipment Market. For instance, In November 2020, Hitachi High-Tech Corporation announced the high-speed defect review SEM*1 CR7300. The CR7300 is a new model of review SEM that will contribute to the productivity improvement in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices. It is based on electron optics that allow the acquisition of the best high-resolution images. At the same time, advanced imaging and stage systems enable high-speed image acquisition in half of the time compared to conventional methods, significantly reducing total inspection time.
Further, in October 2020, Canon has announced the launch of the FPA-3030i5a, the newest entry in the company’s lineup of i-line1 stepper semiconductor lithography systems that support the manufacture and inspection. The FPA-3030i5a semiconductor lithography system is designed to process small substrates of 8 inches or less. In addition, it supports silicon wafers and compound semiconductor materials such as SiC (silicon carbide) and GaN (gallium nitride).

Competitive Landscape

The semiconductor metrology inspection equipment market is highly fragmented, with a considerable number of regional and global players. The innovation drives the market in the product offerings, and each vendor is investing in innovation.

June 2021 - KLA Corporation announced the launch of four new products for automotive semiconductor metrology and inspection. Includes the 8935 high productivity patterned wafer inspection system, the C205 broadband plasma patterned wafer inspection system, the Surfscan SP A2/A3 unpatterned wafer inspection systems, and I-PAT inline defect part average testing screening solution.
April 2021 - Applied Materials, Inc. announced AIx, a platform that accelerates the discovery, development, and commercial deployment of new chip technologies. AIx enables engineers to see into semiconductor processes in real-time, take millions of measurements across wafers and individual chips, and optimize thousands of process variables to improve semiconductor performance, power, area-cost, and time to market (PPACt). The AIx platform works across all Applied Materials process equipment, eBeam metrology systems, and inspection systems and is extendable from lab to fab.

Additional Benefits:

The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
3 months of analyst support
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