When undesirable elements are removed from a wafer's surface using chemical or physical methods, the process is called etching. Dry and wet etching are the two categories into which etching can be divided. Dry etching involves subjecting a surface to an ion barrage that dislodges bits of the substance.
The popularity of dry etch equipment has increased recently as a result of its capacity to offer superior isotropic control, increased precision, and general safety. Depending on the process, dry etching can offer a high etch rate while utilizing fewer chemicals. The global dry etching equipment market is predicted to reach US$20.29 billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 6.87% during the forecast period.
According to this report, the global market can be divided into four major regions: Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World. The countries covered in North America region are the US, Canada, and Mexico, while Europe includes Germany, Spain, UK, Italy, France, and the Rest of Europe. Moreover, China, Japan, South Korea and Rest of Asia Pacific are included in the Asia Pacific region.
Asia Pacific accounted for the maximum share of the global dry etching equipment market, due to the presence of some of the leading semiconductor manufacturers, growing demand for advanced technologies across numerous end-user industries, and supportive government policies for the region's semiconductor industry. China has become the largest producer of dry etching equipment, owing to rising demand for electric vehicles, in Asia Pacific.
Top Impacting Factors:
Driver: Growth Of Semiconductor Market
Deposition, photoresist, lithography, etch, ionization, and packaging are the six critical semiconductor manufacturing steps. During the manufacturing process, etching is used to chemically remove layers off the surface of a wafer. Etching is a key part of semiconductor manufacturing because it ensures that parts and components are manufactured exactly to specification, with high accuracy, and work as expected given their material qualities. the lateral and longitudinal directions at the same time, resulting in certain loss of line width. Dry etching is currently the dominant method in semiconductor etching, accounting for more than 90% of the market, due to various advantages, including the capacity to automate and use less material. Hence, as semiconductor sales increase, so does the demand for etching equipment, which eventually drives the global market for dry etching equipment.
In numerous circumstances, machine manufacturing outpaces demand from various end-user segments, resulting in massive inventory buildup. As a result, machine manufacturers are being pushed to lower the price for clearing stock, resulting in reduced revenue inflow. This, in turn, is projected to limit the entry of many machine manufacturers into the market, severely impacting the market. Therefore, manufacturing of machines outpacing the demand acts as a challenge for the market, in recent times.
AI has grown in popularity as a result of greater data quantities, improved algorithms, and advancements in processing power and storage. AI-powered smartphone applications and other mediums will aid in determining what people desire. Data-driven insights result in more tailored solutions and better engagement. The next decade of Artificial Intelligence appears to be extremely bright and dramatic, as it has cleared the path for smarter monitoring, faster feedback, and better business lines. To address data usage in artificial intelligence (AI) integrated circuits, semiconductor architecture enhancements are required. Improvements in semiconductor design for AI will focus on faster data transit in and out of memory with more power and more efficient memory systems, rather than total performance. Such improvements are assisted with a proper etching process, thereby the increasing penetration of artificial intelligence is likely increase the demand for dry etching equipment market in the future.
The COVID-19 Analysis:
The COVID-19 pandemic helped the global dry etching equipment industry. Since dry etching is needed to grow semiconductors, its impact on semiconductor production has had a significant market impact. Furthermore, the employment of dry etching technology to produce an important component in the manufacturing of microelectronic devices, which were in high demand during the pandemic in the form of laptops, solar cells, smart phones, and so on, resulted in some good improvements throughout the pandemic. Understanding the demand drivers for dry etch end-applications would aid in determining COVID's impact on the global dry etching equipment market. The market is likely to grow faster in the next years as a result of changes brought about by the pandemic, such as increasing semiconductor demand.
Analysis of Key Players:
The global market for dry etching equipment is highly concentrated, dominated by the US and Japan players including Lam Research, Applied Materials, and Tokyo Electron. Due to the extensive market penetration of several established organizations in the market, vendors are likely to face stiff competition. Long-standing players are seen to have an advantage since strong brands are associated with high performance. Further, key players in the global dry etching equipment market are:
Despite the presence of a limited number of dry etching equipment manufacturers in various regions of the world, there is fierce competition among vendors due to the significant market penetration of select existing producers. All of the top companies control a significant portion of the market and are focused on expanding their consumer base globally. Companies are increasing their market share during the projection period by forming various collaborations with smaller players and investing in the launch of new goods to acquire a competitive advantage. For example, In July 2022, Lam Research, Entegris, and Gelest collaborated to Advance EUV Dry Resist Technology Ecosystem. The companies are working together to accelerate the development of future cost-effective dry resist solutions. Dry resist offers the excellent etch resistance and variable thickness scaling of deposition and growth required to fulfil the lowered depth of focus requirements of high-NA EUV.