2022 – TECHCET News

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May 24, 2022

CMP Consumables – Supply is Tight and Costs Expected to Rise

as legacy products are replaced by leading edge

San Diego, CA, May 24, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced the Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) consumables market for semiconductors grew almost 13% in 2021 to reach US$3.0 billion. The CMP market, including both slurries and pads, will grow almost 9% in 2022 to US$3.3 billion, and the forecast through 2026 shows this market growing at over a 6% CAGR.

CMP processes continue to increase as leading-edge devices ramp up in production. The logic market is seeing a shift from FinFET to GAA, which increases the number of CMP steps and the introduction of new materials for the metal gate, as indicated in “TECHCET’s 2022 Critical Materials Report™ on CMP Consumables.” Under consideration are cobalt, ruthenium, molybdenum, nickel, and various alloys. Strong growth in leading edge DRAM and 3DNAND is boosting demand for tungsten, copper and cobalt pads and slurries. Growth is also driven by advanced 3DNAND as wafer starts for higher layer generations ramp up in production.

Demand will continue to slow for consumables for legacy products, though slurries and pads for commonly used materials, such as oxide and tungsten, will continue to be available. As new materials replace those used in legacy products, availability of consumables for the legacy materials will decrease as some suppliers will discontinue their consumables legacy product lines. This will result in less competition and will likely drive-up prices for legacy CMP products.

Slurry prices are expected to hold or increase, particularly on specialty slurries and on small quantity orders over the next year or two. Nanoceria slurries are in growing demand, driven by the need for improved surface quality and defectivity control.

Due to the lack of competition in the pad market, pad prices will hold firm. Small quantity orders will receive a premium price. However, if the new pad supplier entrants in China gain position in the local market, it could soften prices for competitive pads in China.

For more details on the CMP Consumables market segments and growth trajectory go to: https://techcet.com/product/cmp-slurry-and-pads-only/

For more information about how to attend the CMC Conference After Hours, go to:
https://cmcfabs.org/cmc-conference-2022/

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.

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May 17, 2022

Europe Chemical Supply Chain – Impact of Fab Expansions

Risk of Supply Interruption Grows With an Increase in Imports

San Diego, CA, May 17, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— examined critical materials dependencies of Europe’s expanding chip-making industry. Six high purity chemicals were identified as having the highest risk of supply interruption by major Europe chip fabricators: liquid and gas hydrochloric acid (HCl), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), hydrofluoric acid (HF), ammonia hydroxide (NH4OH), and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Demand for these materials is expected to grow 40+% over the next 5 years, as shown in TECHCET’s study titled “The Impact Of Chip Expansions On The Europe Wet Chemical Supply Chain Report.” By 2027, more than 50% of total demand will have to be supplied by imports should there be no additional expansion in local chemical production.

As indicated by the above Figure, TECHCET’s study shows that about 50% of the NH4OH is currently imported; other chemicals have a 20% to 30% dependency, with exception of HCl at < 10%. This picture will change in coming years as new fabs and new chip making capacity come online in Europe.

TECHCET anticipates a 5% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) growth in wafer starts from Europe-based semiconductor makers through 2027, with the ≤20 nm fabrication node capacity having the strongest growth. (This is nearly double the CAGR experienced over the past 5-10 years.) Europe demand of higher purity material is expected to climb as many of the fab expansions will include more leading-edge capacity. Consequently, the dependence on imported chemicals will rise unless investments are made for manufacturing ultra-high purity chemicals in Europe.

TECHCET sees the local chemical supply-chain as currently strained and challenged to try and supply the upcoming demand. Over the years, many chemical producers have shifted their focus on growing their production in Asia due to lower cost conditions and larger potential demand. This is causing a shrinking availability of locally produced chemicals.

Suppliers are open to investing in capacity and adding capabilities in Europe but find it difficult to meet corporate ROI expectations. Support is needed through co-investments, capital support (including government), and guidance and assistance with regulatory compliance. A return on investment needs to be realized as suppliers will not expand without margins or longer-term business to justify the investment. Multiyear supply commitment, predictable volumes, and reasonable expectations on pricing to spread/share risks are just a few criteria suppliers seek to address in deciding on an investment plan.

Given the supply chain constraints and chip industry growth expected in the next 3-5 years, the semiconductor makers in Europe should put in place strategies to support their demand for these key chemicals. Two key strategies should be considered: 1) look for alternative sources of supply, and 2) work with the government and/or investment community to bring more local chemical production back into Europe.

For more details on the Europe Chemical market segments, issues, and growth trajectory go to: https://techcet.com/product/the-impact-of-chip-expansions-on-the-europe-wet-chemical-supply-chain-new/

For more information about how to attend the CMC Conference After Hours, go to:
https://cmcfabs.org/cmc-conference-2022/

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.

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May 11, 2022

Reuters Exclusive: Russia’s attack on Ukraine halts half of world’s neon output for chips

By Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s two leading suppliers of neon, which produce about half the world’s supply of the key ingredient for making chips, have halted their operations as Moscow has sharpened its attack on the country, threatening to raise prices and aggravate the semiconductor shortage.

Some 45% to 54% of the world’s semiconductor-grade neon, critical for the lasers used to make chips, comes from two Ukrainian companies, Ingas and Cryoin, according to Reuters calculations based on figures from the companies and market research firm Techcet. Global neon consumption for chip production reached about 540 metric tons last year, Techcet estimates.

Both firms have shuttered their operations, according to company representatives contacted by Reuters, as Russian troops have escalated their attacks on cities throughout Ukraine, killing civilians and destroying key infrastructure.

The stoppage casts a cloud over the worldwide output of chips, already in short supply after the coronavirus pandemic drove up demand for cellphones, laptops and later cars, forcing some firms to scale back production.

While estimates vary widely about the amount of neon stocks chipmakers keep on hand, production could take a hit if the conflict drags on, according to Angelo Zino, an analyst at CFRA.

“If stockpiles are depleted by April and chipmakers don’t have orders locked up in other regions of the world, it likely means further constraints for the broader supply chain and inability to manufacture the end-product for many key customers,” he said.

Before the invasion, Ingas produced 15,000 to 20,000 cubic meters of neon per month for customers in Taiwan, Korea, China, the United States and Germany, with about 75% going to the chip industry, Nikolay Avdzhy, the company’s chief commercial officer, said in an email to Reuters.

The company is based in Mariupol, which has been under siege by Russian forces. On Wednesday, Russian forces destroyed a maternity hospital there, in what Kyiv and Western allies called a war crime. Moscow said the hospital was no longer functioning and had been occupied by Ukrainian fighters.

“Civilians are suffering,” Avdzhy said by email last Friday, noting that the company’s marketing officer could not respond because he had no internet or phone access.

Cryoin, which produced roughly 10,000 to 15,000 cubic meters of neon per month, and is located in Odessa, halted operations on Feb. 24 when the invasion began to keep employees safe, according to business development director Larissa Bondarenko.

Bondarenko said the company would be unable to fill orders for 13,000 cubic meter of neon in March unless the violence stopped. She said the company could weather at least three months with the plant closed, but warned that if equipment were damaged, that would prove a bigger drag on company finances and make it harder to restart operations quickly.

She also said she was unsure the company could access additional raw materials for purifying neon.

The Economy Ministry of Taiwan,home to the world’s largest contract chip maker TSMC, said that Taiwanese firms had already made advanced preparations and had “safety stocks” of neon, so it did not see any supply chain problems in the near term. The statement to Reuters echoed similar remarks from Taiwan’s central bank earlier on Friday.

But smaller chipmakers may be harder hit, according to Lita Shon-Roy, president of Techcet.

“The largest chip fabricators, like Intel, Samsung and TSMC, have greater buying power and access to inventories that may cover them for longer periods of time, two months or more,” she said. “However, many other chip fabs do not have this kind of buffer,” she added, noting that rumors of companies trying to build up inventory have begun to circulate. “This will compound the issue of supply availability.”

To read the rest of the article, click here: https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-ukraine-halts-half-worlds-neon-output-chips-clouding-outlook-2022-03-11/

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May 10, 2022

Semiconductor Materials at a Critical Tipping Point

Key Industry Issues Revealed

San Diego, CA, May 10, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— held its highly successful and well-attended 2022 Critical Materials Conference in Chandler, Arizona on April 28th and 29th. Over 300 attendees and speakers participated in the event to hear about and to discuss semiconductor material issues and trends that are critical to the entire semiconductor industry supply chain—now and in the future.

2022 CMC Conference Keynote Speaker, John Whitman, Corporate Vice President, Operations Central Team & Procurement at Micron Technologies Corp., and Karey Holland, Ph.D., Sr. Advisor and CMC Conference Co-Chair, TECHCET

The opening keynote for the conference was delivered by John Whitman, Corporate Vice President, Operations Central Team & Procurement; Micron Technologies Corp. and addressed the topic of “Covid Impacts on our Supply Assurance Playbook”. The Covid pandemic and subsequent logistic and other supply chain issues over the past two years have highlighted critical issues for the semiconductor industry. Just-in-time delivery has lessened as a procurement priority, and now manufacturers focus on supply chain stability. It is important for device makers to build their supply chain around Business Continuity Plans (BCP) so to ensure production schedules are maintained.

Industry-wide, there is an opportunity for companies to share information through digitization of supply-chain data. With sharing of information and data, companies across the supply chain can collaborate and solve critical issues with respect to materials delivery and performance, thus optimizing semiconductor processing.

This technical conference includes 5 impactful sessions with focuses on 1) Business Trends & Global Issues, 2) Immediate Challenges of Materials & Manufacturing, 3) Future Challenges for Equipment & Component Processes, 4) Emerging Materials & Processes, and 5) Materials for Advanced Packaging and Heterogeneous Integration.

The Conference has just opened up registration for “After Hours” interaction offering online viewing of presentation videos and pdf downloads, and virtual networking opportunities with other “attendees.”

  • On Day 1, sessions 1 through 3 cover a gamut of topics critical to the semiconductor industry supply chain. Topics from the industry outlook for devices, semiconductor manufacturing equipment and materials, to water supply challenges, green manufacturing initiatives, and workforce development were all discussed.
  • On Day 2, the event focused on emerging materials applications including materials needed for 3nm and smaller technology nodes as well as material challenges of interposes versus bridges and other issues concerning wafer level modeling materials.

For more information about how to attend the CMC Conference After Hours, go to:
https://cmcfabs.org/cmc-conference-2022/

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.

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April 21, 2022

2022 Strong Demand Straining Litho Material Supply-Chains

Supply Chain Pressures Expected to Drive Pricing Upward

San Diego, CA, April 21, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced that the Photoresist market is forecasted to increase 7% to top US$2.2 billion, up from US$2.1 billion in 2021. This is largely attributed to the rise in KrF type resist demand used for 3D NAND production, and the rise in EUV resists for leading-edge logic devices.

Demand for semiconductor materials such as photoresist (and the extension and ancillary materials necessary to process photoresists) is high, and we expect prices to be pushed higher as supply chains continue to impact raw material availability and costs. Chemical makers are experiencing higher costs for polypropylene, ethylene, resins, containers, and labor. Photoresist suppliers, in general, have been increasing product prices to combat inflationary and supply chain pressures.

EUV type resists are gaining momentum as large semiconductor makers have ramped EUV materials usage. The DRAM segment will be ramping EUV lithography as well, thus, further contributing to growth in this resist segment.

TECHCET is forecasting growth of both Extension and Ancillary materials growing 5% to 6% CAGR by volume through to 2026.

An interesting trend to observe in this materials segment is the on-going investments by China-based suppliers to develop photoresist materials. China is increasing investment in photoresist manufacturing to reduce dependency on foreign sources for these critical materials. These unfolding development initiatives in China will impact the lithography materials markets in the years ahead. In the meantime, the companies traditionally supplying the lithography materials market have announced new investments, especially manufacturing capacity in South Korea and Taiwan, to boost photoresist production.

For more details on the Lithography materials market segments and growth trajectory go to:
https://techcet.com/product/photoresists-and-photoresist-ancillaries/

Don’t forget to register for the 2022 Critical Materials Conference (CMC) on April 28-29 in Chandler, AZ!

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.

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April 7, 2022

Semiconductor Wafers Supply-Chain Critically Tight

Threat of Shortages Increasing

San Diego, CA, April 7, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced the Silicon Wafer market, including SOI wafers, will increase more than 10% in 2022 to top US$15.5 billion, up 14.8% from 2021. Strong overall demand and higher pricing related to increasing raw material and energy costs are driving up revenues. This will be the first time in over a decade that the wafer market will see two consecutive years of double-digit growth.

As with other semiconductor materials, supply of Silicon Wafers is tight, and lead-times are increasing. There is no excess capacity in the market – 300 mm wafering capacity is on the order of 7,200 wafers per month (wpm), which is approximately equal to the projected demand for this year. However, Silicon Wafers are specialized to customer specifications and device requirements, so capacity constraints vary from customer to customer depending on product mix, as well as volume demand.

Debottlenecking and some brownfield expansions are ongoing. This may partially alleviate the current supply constraints; however, such manufacturing capacity growth will not be enough to satisfy projected wafer demand in 2022 and 2023. Some wafer suppliers have stated current manufacturing cannot fully support demand, so customers will be on allocation.

With this context provided, the major wafer suppliers, like Shin-Etsu Handotai (SEH), SUMCO, GlobalWafers, Siltronic, and SK Siltron, have indicated that they will invest in greenfield plants to further boost wafering capacity. It will take time, 2-3 years, for plants to be constructed and equipped so production from new greenfield plants will not contribute to wafer output until 2024. Until then, supply will be tight causing prices to increase. Raw material and energy costs are also on the rise, adding to the upward price pressure.

The oncoming wafer shortage will create an opportunity for newcomers – emerging 300 mm wafer suppliers in China, like Zing Semiconductor, could help fill some of the demand if they are able to meet qualification standards for 300 mm production wafers as well as test/monitor wafers.

For more details on the Silicon Wafer Target market segments and growth trajectory go to:
https://techcet.com/product/silicon-wafers/

Don’t forget to register for the 2022 Critical Materials Conference (CMC) on April 28-29 in Chandler, AZ!

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.

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March 22, 2022

Sputtering Target Demand Remains Strong – Metal Supply Chain Stressed

Metal Pricing on the Rise Driven Further by Russia/Ukraine Turmoil

San Diego, CA, March 22, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced the Sputtering Target market for semiconductors increased 11.5% in 2021 (excluding precious metal targets) to reach US$764 million. The sputtering target market will further grow to 7% in 2022 to approximately US$820 million as demand continues to remain strong, though the global metal supply chains face many stresses.

Semiconductor target suppliers report strong demand continuing through 2022. Supply of high-purity copper, aluminum, and titanium is expected to remain tighter in 2022; however, target manufacturers with internal metal purification capacity will have more flexibility around high-purity metal supply constraints. When it comes to expanding capacity, target suppliers are encountering problems. For example, the delivery of machine tools, casting and rolling equipment needed for sputter target making have extended lead-times causing delays in expansion plans.

Rise in Metal Prices Pushing Further Upward: Metal pricing is now under new upward pressures given geopolitical issues surrounding Russia, the metals market response to the war, and increased energy costs. Titanium (Ti) sponge pricing is expected to increase as large aeronautical manufacturers refrain from sourcing of Ti sponge out of Russia. This will increase demand for sponge material from Japan and other nations, thus pushing prices higher. Additionally, spot market prices for some metals are shooting up, as investors speculate on availability of materials coming out of Russia. Finally, energy and transportation costs are on the rise, adding to the upward price trend. These issues, coupled with limited public announcements on new investments to expand target manufacturing capacity, are driving higher prices across the sputtering target supply chain.

In this environment, fab customers will likely seek out smaller suppliers to support demand growth, though such suppliers will require support and close partnerships with fabs to deliver targets required for leading-edge applications.

For more details on the Sputtering Target market segments and growth trajectory go to:
https://techcet.com/product/sputter-targets/

Don’t forget to register for the 2022 Critical Materials Conference (CMC) on April 28-29 in Chandler, AZ!

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com

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March 18, 2022

Vox: The neon shortage is a bad sign

By Rebecca Heilweil

Neon, a colorless and odorless gas, is typically not as exciting as it sounds, but this unassuming element happens to play a critical role in making the tech we use every day. For years, this neon has also mostly come from Ukraine, where just two companies purify enough to produce devices for much of the world, usually with little issue. At least, they did until Russia invaded.

Faced with the devastating reality of war, Ukraine’s neon industry halted production. One of Ukraine’s two primary neon companies, Ingas, is based in Mariupol, which has been repeatedly bombed by Russian forces and is currently under siege. The other company, Cryoin, is based in Odesa, where citizens are currently preparing for an assault. And amid terrifying conditions and a mounting number of civilian casualties, the safety of the people who work at these firms is the priority, not the potential impact on tech manufacturers.

There will be ripple effects, though. Semiconductor manufacturers rely on neon to control the specialized lasers they use to make computer chips. Right now, it’s not clear whether they have enough time to find and develop new sources of this gas before their backup supplies run out: Chip companies and industry analysts say there’s anywhere between one to six months worth of neon in reserve. If that runs out, these companies won’t be able to make semiconductors. This means that the worldwide chip shortage — which was expected to end sometime in the next year or so — could draw out even longer, leading to higher prices, delivery delays, and shortages of critical technology.

“Whether it’s electronics, cars, computers, phones, new airplanes, anything you can think of has a semiconductor chip,” explains Unni Pillai, a professor of nanoengineering at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “In the long run, if it doesn’t resolve, then you may not be able to buy these products on the market anymore.”

This looming shortage is a grave reminder that technology manufacturing is spread throughout the world and across different companies, some of which are clustered in a single country. Hardware companies like Apple, Samsung, and Intel tend to like this approach because they buy components from specialized third-party manufacturers, which allows them to cut down on labor costs and assemble devices with a high level of efficiency. What the ongoing war in Ukraine makes clear, however, is that this system is also precarious, and that a snag in the production of even the most basic component or ingredient can jeopardize the world’s access to all sorts of tech. Neon is just the latest example, but it’s unlikely to be the last.

“The change that’s happening right now — to go from a more global economy to a more local economy — this [war] is indeed pushing it in that direction,” Lita Shon-Roy, the president and CEO of Techcet, explained. “Each region will have to put things in place to allow them to be more self-sufficient in terms of materials.”

In the case of neon, this is already happening. Back in 2016, Ukraine produced about 70 percent of the neon used in the world’s semiconductors, according to Techcet. But in the wake of the Crimea crisis, new sources of neon started to pop up. Some US steel manufacturers reconfigured air separation tech they already had so they could capture neon, and one American industrial gas company, Linde, spent $250 million to build a neon production site in Texas. Manufacturers in other countries, including China and South Korea, are also manufacturing their own neon supplies. In response, Ukraine’s share of the neon market has declined.

A solution to the neon shortage won’t be the end of the chip industry’s problems, though. Even if new sources of neon arrive, the ongoing war could still create a shortage of other critical supplies used for chips. Russia makes a large chunk of the US’s supply of palladium, a metal that’s used in semiconductors and catalytic converters. It also provides much of the world’s nickel, a critical material for making electric vehicle batteries, and C4F6, another gas used in chipmaking. At the same time, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, is calling on some chip companies, including Qualcomm, to withdraw from Russia entirely.

To read the rest of this article, click here: https://www.vox.com/recode/22983468/neon-shortage-chips-semiconductors-russia-ukraine

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March 15, 2022

Wet Chemicals Challenges to Growing Demand and Imports – Double-Digit Growth; Changing Market Landscape

Acquisitions and Investments to Alter Supply Chains

San Diego, CA, March 15, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced a positive growth outlook for Wet Chemicals through 2026; The 2022 Wet Chemicals, including both Basic Chemicals and Specialty Cleans, market is forecasted to surpass US$2.5 billion, as semiconductor wafer starts push forward and the number of process steps increases for leading-edge devices. Challenges exist in the market: both raw material and logistic costs rise in the near-term; and purity and residue removal at leading-edge nodes pushes the yield envelope during processing. Asia Imports for high purity chemicals appear to be the only supply currently available that can satisfy forecasted demands.

Acquisitions and investments will be changing the market landscape for the Wet Chemicals segments. Numerous announcements have been made concerning new plants and plant expansions to boost chemical manufacturing technology in regions of strong fab investments: US (Arizona area); China; South Korea; and Taiwan. The investments occurring in South Korea continue the localization trend of boosting domestic supply of key chemicals critical to the semiconductor fabs there.

China is a key source of raw materials for manufacturing critical Wet Chemicals, and surging production costs and strong domestic demand has resulted in higher pricing for chemicals. For example, both Sulfuric and Hydrofluoric Acids prices increased in 2021. Pricing pressures remain in the marketplace, especially for the supply chain in China, as energy costs/constraints and environmental issues will likely keep upward pricing pressures in place over the foreseeable future.

The Specialty Cleans segment, which includes Post-Etch Residue Removal (PERR) and post-Chemical Mechanical Planarization (pCMP) cleaning, will experience 6.8% growth in 2022 and a 5% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) through the 2021 to 2026 forecast period. PERR formulations are proprietary and precise control of the formulations and the process is critical for high yields. Cobalt CMP is a relatively new process and is being incorporated into all leading-edge logic devices at 5 nm and below process nodes.

For Basic Chemicals, lower levels of purities are required for Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and Sulfuric Acid in leading-edge in logic processes, and this presents new manufacturing challenges for the suppliers. Usage of Special Phosphoric Acid blends are growing and are critical to 3D NAND growth.

For more details on the Electronics Gas market segments and growth trajectory go to:
https://techcet.com/product/specialty-cleaning-chemicals/

Don’t forget to register for the 2022 Critical Materials Conference (CMC) on April 28-29 in Chandler, AZ!

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com

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March 7, 2022

EURACTIV: Ukraine war could further disrupt semiconductor production

By Mathieu Pollet

The war in Ukraine might upset the European Union’s ambitions to become a leader in chip production, but Russia is set to pay a direr price in the long term.

Russia’s war against Ukraine, which began with a military attack on 24 February, is likely to have many side effects in the medium to long term for the semiconductor industry, a top priority for Brussels’ digital sovereignty.

The production of neon, palladium, and C4F6, three materials crucial for microchips, could be impacted by the situation, the consultancy firm Techcet has said. “These materials are vital to semiconductor processing and irreplaceable,” Technet’s analysts told EURACTIV.

Neon, for example, is a gas that is essential to the operation of lasers for engraving chips and is used almost exclusively for this purpose. It is present in tiny quantities in the air and needs to be processed in huge volumes.

Russia produces a lot of neon because it has a large steel industry which requires a lot of oxygen. The country then sends it to Ukraine, where the neon is extracted and purified for export. At least, that was the case before the invasion.

“If the current situation escalates, US chipmakers may suffer material supply interruptions,” Techcet president Lita Shon-Roy warned at the start of February when tensions were already high. The US depend almost exclusively on the Ukraine-Russia duo for its neon needs.

Russia is also one of the world’s largest palladium producers, a rare metal also used in the manufacture of some semiconductors. The consultancy firm estimates that Russia supplies 37% of the world’s supply, second only to South Africa (40%).

A ‘weak’ immediate impact

According to the Techcet experts, the immediate impact on the EU industry will be “weak”.

However, “the semiconductor supply chain is already strained due to the increase in chip demand.” and “any material supply disruption can negatively impact chip production in the next 6-12 months”.

According to them, the situation should thus “certainly slow down the growth trajectory that the EU chip industry is hoping to see.”

Today’s global semiconductors market accounts for over €500 billion – a figure that should double by 2030. Europe accounts for 10% of the worldwide production, compared to 24% in 2000 and 44% in 1990.

The consequences of the war will depend on “how well prepared each chipmaker is, in terms of their buying power, and whether they have already set up alternative sources of supply,” the Techcet analysts also highlighted.

To read the rest of this article, click here: https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/ukraine-war-could-further-upset-the-production-of-semi-conductors/

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March 3, 2022

Electronic Gas Markets – Strong Growth, Pressing Supply-Chain Issues

Neon Gas Faces Supply Issues Due to the Russia/Ukraine Conflict; Supply Constraints for Helium Gas in 2022

San Diego, CA, March 3, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm — announced a positive growth outlook for Electronic Gases through 2026. The 2022 Electronic Gas market is expected to top US$7 billion, driven mainly by logic chip fab expansions. Despite an expected 8% CAGR, there are pressing supply-chain issues, both nearer term and possibly longer term, exist in this industry segment. The Russia-Ukraine war is sparking growing concerns relating to the availability of gases such as neon, helium and other gases critical to semiconductor production around the globe.

The turmoil in the region, and related economic sanctions against Russia, will likely affect several key gases used by the semiconductor industry. Neon and helium are two examples. TECHCET’s latest analysis shows that majority of all high purity neon imports into the US is coming from the Ukraine. This represents <50% of total US demand.

TECHCET’s contacts in Ukraine indicate that rare gas purifiers in Ukraine have been temporarily shut down due to the conflict. So far there has only been an interruption of 5-6 days. However, if the fighting lingers on this could have a major impact on the chip industry that has been pushing hard to increase production.

Many of the supply-chains that support the industry are running thin on capacity. Investments in more material production has been lacking and demand for materials has been growing so fast that material pinch points exist in nearly every material segment, including gas processing equipment and subsystems. On-going issues on lead-times for all types of components related to gas processing (tool gas box upgrades, precursor deliver systems, bulk refill) are expected to impact lead-times for gas and precursor supply systems

“Even those material supply-chains that were looking fairly balanced in 2020 are increasingly getting pinched and any perturbation in the supply-chain can cause shortage issues,” said Lita Shon-Roy, TECHCET’s President & CEO. Helium is a prime example where hiccups in the supply-chain are causing increased lead-times and availability problem as the chip industry pushes up their demand. The US BLM, the US’s key source of helium, has been experiencing maintenance issues, delaying product availability, and Russia’s Gazprom purified helium production has been delayed (6 months or more) due to fire incidents over the past several months. “Add war into the mix and supply can be even further strained,” offered Shon-Roy.

As new semiconductor device fabs come online in the next few years, supply constraints may appear for other gases (B2H6, WF6, NF3, CF-gases) as demand increases are expected to outpace supply.

For more details on the Electronics Gas market segments and growth trajectory go to:
https://techcet.com/product/gases/

Don’t forget to register for the 2022 Critical Materials Conference (CMC) on April 28-29 in Chandler, AZ.

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com

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February 1, 2022

Supply-Chain Threats from Russia-US Tensions

Can Dependencies on Russia Materials Impact US Chip Production?

San Diego, CA, February 1, 2022: TECHCET addresses the Supply-Chain Threat from Russia-US turmoil—as the threat of war from Russia on Ukraine wears on, the potential for materials supply interruption is now a concern. TECHCET analysts have uncovered US dependencies on Russian C4F6, Neon, and Palladium, critical materials used to make semiconductor chips.

Russia is a crucial source of C4F6 which several US suppliers buy and purify for use in advanced node logic device etching and advanced lithography processes for chip production. The US market consumes about 8MT of C4F6 per year.

US Neon supply, used for laser gas (needed for lithography), is almost entirely from Ukraine/Russia. Russia produces Neon, a byproduct of steel manufacturing. This Neon is then sourced and purified by a specialized Ukrainian company.

Russia is also a key Palladium (Pd) supplier, along with South Africa, and supplies approximately 33% of the global demand. Palladium is used in sensors and emerging memory (MRAM), and as a plating material for some packaging technologies. Pd is primarily employed as a catalyst, and is especially important for automotive emission systems.

If the conflict escalates, and/or if the US imposes more sanctions on Russia, could Russia retaliate by withholding critical materials needed for US chip production? TECHCET’s CEO/President Lita Shon-Roy states, “The answer is YES—because the conflict may impede exports from Ukraine, Neon supply would be immediately impacted.” Moreover, C4F6 and Palladium exports that come directly from Russia could also be affected and used as leverage against trade sanctions. Shon-Roy adds, “We hope it will not come to that, however, if the current situation escalates, US chip makers may suffer material supply interruptions.”

For the latest information on business and technical trends including materials supply chain issues, contact, [email protected], 1-480-382-8336, or go to Techcet.com.

Don’t forget to register for the 2022 Critical Materials Conference (CMC) on April 28-29 in Chandler, AZ.

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com

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January 17, 2022

2022 Semiconductor Materials Outlook

COVID-19 Pandemic Still Having Lasting Effects on All Materials

San Diego, CA, January 17, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm — announced that global revenues for semiconductor manufacturing and packaging materials grew approximately 12% year-over-year (YoY) in 2021 to ~US$57.8 B, and are expected to grow 7% in 2022 to over US$61.7 B. The COVID-19 pandemic has created strong demand for both logic and memory ICs to support continued Work from Home and School from Home, and as such demand is expected to increase despite expanding availability of virus vaccines. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2020-2025 is forecasted at > 6% as per the latest TECHCET Critical Materials Reports (CMR) and shown in the figure below.

Strong growth in 3DNAND and advanced logic devices is expected to be the leading driver for materials revenue growth through 2025. As indicated by TECHCET’s Critical Materials ReportsTM and market research consulting:

Top Concerns About Supply Availability – Demand Outstripping Supply

  • Silicon wafer supply-chain is increasingly strained by growing demand with minimal additional wafer making capacity in the near-term.
  • Multiple materials segments including gases and wet chemicals are being impacted by raw material availability issues from China, driven by electric power limitations and regulations, in addition to increase in local demand for materials.
  • Equipment Parts capacity is likely to remain below demand for the next year as equipment and raw materials needed to increase volumes are experiencing long lead-times, 2X-3X normal.
  • Even if the pandemic subsides later this year, the supply tightness is expected to continue beyond 2022 as parts will be needed to support growing 3DNAND and leading-edge logic device production.

Continued high growth in ALD/CVD precursors is expected, as leading-edge Logic and Memory chip demand will accelerate consumption in this materials segment. Additionally, more precursors are being demanded by new processes for advanced devices incorporating 3D-stacked scaling and new patterning processes.

For the latest information on business and technical trends in devices and materials attend the CMC Conference 2022 April 28-29, in Chandler, AZ.

For More information on TECHCET’s Critical Materials Reports™ and Market Briefings: TECHCET CMRs

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com

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January 6, 2022

Consumables Industry Feeling a Swell in Demand

CMP Slurry and Pad Market Forecasted 13% Growth for 2021

San Diego, CA, January 6, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm — announced that CMP consumables demand is surging upward as device makers continue to push up production, and equipment suppliers scramble to build their backlog. “Shipments of CMP pads and slurries are at a 10-year high,” states Lita Shon-Roy, President of TECHCET.

The 2021 revenue forecast for the CMP slurry market is a TAM US$1.89 B growing 13% over 2020, with a 5-yr CAGR 8.8%; from TECHCET’s analysis of CMP Pads & Slurry markets. The strongest segments are Cobalt and PolySi slurry, while the Cu, Tungsten, and Oxide segments hold the largest revenue. Under normal market conditions prices are being driven down by competition and pressure from device makers persists in attempts to reduce costs. However, during this high growth period, we expect prices to hold steady or increase slightly. Slurries for advanced products will support higher prices because they are not as readily available.

The 2021 revenue forecast for the CMP pad market is a TAM of US$1.15B, also growing 13% year over year. A 6.2% CAGR is expected (2020 to 2025); lower growth than the slurry market due to increased pad life and price competition from China. The largest growth segments include Cobalt and PolySi pads, while oxide, tungsten, and Cu bulk pads make up the majority of the revenues. Due to the strength of the major shareholders like DuPont and Cabot in the pad market, pad prices will hold firm. However, if the new entrants in China are starting to gain position in their local market, which will lead to price competition in China. As for other process materials, shipping costs of CMP consumables have dramatically increased, which will be passed on to the customer.

Supply Chain Concerns:

  • Transportation delays, huge price increases for overseas shipments, warehousing challenges are all resulting in higher costs and quality issues for some slurries.
  • Equipment suppliers are seeing long-lead times on sub-components and some process materials which are slowing down the expansion plans of device makers.
  • Higher than expected materials demand is making the supply-chain tight and may ultimately result in shortages
  • Increasing dependencies on Asian suppliers of chemicals pose a greater risk of supply-interruption given ongoing logistics problems caused by persistent COVID19 and variants.

For more information about the CMP Slurry and Pad market, check out TECHCET’s report on CMP Slurry, Pads & Conditioners: hhttps://techcet.com/product/cmp-slurry-and-pads-only/

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact [email protected], +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.

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