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Better times ahead for Photoresist manufacturers, says Techcet forecast

20 June 2011 | By Mark Osborne | News > Lithography

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According to a new report from technical-based market research firm, Techcet photoresist manufacturer’s revenues are expected to continue to grow at 4.7% over the next three years, fuelled by demand for 193nm immersion with double patterning lithography, which is being driven by NAND Flash memory manufacturers.

Photoresist sales topped US$1.15 billion in 2010, according the report from Techcet, entitled, ‘Photoresists and Photoresist Ancillaries, Semiconductor Critical Materials Report 2011.’ The photoresist ancillary markets, which include strippers/removers, developers, ARCs and other ancillaries (EBR, HMDS, and specialty solvents) are expected to reach a combined US$1.22 billion in sales in 2011, up 16% over 2009.

However, Techcet believes that consolidation is overdue in the photoresist supplier space. With a surge in R&D expenses expected as EUV becomes the primary focus at the leading-edge those with strong market share could be the future survivors.

Currently, JSR and TOK share 46% of the global market, with Dow approaching 20% while others hold shares of 8% or less. At least nine manufacturers are currently offering standard and advanced photoresist products, according to Techcet. Resist manufacturers are sustained by an abundant supply of resins, PACs and PAGs despite the declining number of materials suppliers. Worldwide, there are only four basic resin suppliers, three of them in Japan.

Revenue for photoresist manufacturers have yet to exceed the last upturn in the semiconductor industry, which was in 2007. Sales in 2010 were only 93% of sales seen in 2007.

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