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Stepper tool market to shrink 54% in ‚??09

23 June 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Lithography

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Stepper tool unit sales could fall to only 118 in 2009, according Gartner semiconductor equipment analyst Klaus Rinnen, in Gartner’s weekly newsletter to clients. This would equate to a 54% decline compared to 2008, when stepper unit sales totalled 344. This was also a significant decline from 2007, when unit sales reached 604. Stepper sales included semiconductor and LCD markets.

Despite the fall in sales, market share positions in 2008 for the three major lithography tool suppliers have remained virtually static, with ASML benefiting slightly better than its Japanese rivals due to specific customers continued capital spending programs and adoption of 193nm ArF immersion tools with significantly higher ASPs.

Rinnen noted that the stepper market had outperformed the overall equipment market for several years but this would not be the case in 2009. ASML actually experienced the largest decline in unit sales in 2008, compared to the previous year with a unit sales decline of 45.1%. However, Nikon experienced the largest revenue decline of 28.3%, year-on-year.

On a market share basis by revenue, ASML had 65.4% of the stepper market in 2008, Nikon 23.3% and Canon 11.3%.

Market share by stepper unit sales showed that ASML held 40.7% of the market, Canon 30.2% and Nikon 29.1%. Canon benefited from capital spending in the LCD market.

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