SGU May 2009 - Photomask Market: to $2.7 billion in 2011

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The Semiconductor Photomask Market: to $2.7 billion in 2011
by Lara Chamness, senior market analyst and Dan Tracy, senior director.
SEMI Industry Research and Statistics

April 28,2009

The worldwide semiconductor photomask market is estimated to be $2.9 billion in 2008 and forecasted to fall to $2.5 billion in 2009. Coming out of the current downturn, the photomask market is forecasted to be $2.7 billion by 2011, with advanced technology feature sizes (less than 65 nm) and regions in Asia-Pacific leading the market.

Source: Photomask Characterization Summary Report - March2009

Optical lithography continues to push out new technology approaches, including extreme ultraviolet (EUV), maskless lithography and nano-imprint. Immersion lithography is the technology of choice for 45 nm processing and began high-volume manufacturing in the second half of 2008—a year delayed from initial announcements. Double-patterning will act as a bridge to 32 nm. Computational lithography has emerged as a promising candidate to extend optical lithography to 22 nm. When and if EUV is adopted will be determined by cost and developing a new supply chain for this revolutionary technology.

This raises perhaps the most daunting challenge faced by photomask suppliers: economic questions outweigh technical issues. As lines shrink, more advanced photomask tools and materials will be required, but due to limited customers migrating to smaller geometries, the photomask industry must balance a shrinking market with escalating development and capital costs.

Rising mask costs are regularly raised as a critical issue in the semiconductor industry, especially for the low-volume-per-design business segments in foundries and ASICs. With lithography parameters approaching their limits and the necessity for continuous improvement, the industry is seeing increasing dialogue and compromises between the technology and design communities.

A recently SEMI published report, Photomask Characterization Summary, provides details on the 2008 Photomask Market for seven regions of world including North America, Japan, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, China, and Rest of World.   The report also includes data for each of these regions from 2004 to 2011.

To find out additional information on this new report, please click here for additional information including a list of tables and figures.

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