THE demand for smart devices is leading to increasing miniaturisation of electronic circuits, creating a growing market for semiconductor dry etching equipment.
Research and Markets, in their latest report, say the global market for semiconductor dry etching equipment will grow at 2.27% CAGR from 2013 to 2018.
Key vendors dominating the dry etching market include APPLIED Materials, Hitachi High-Technology, Lam Research and Tokyo Electron.
The increasing demand for high performance and low power consumption in smaller electronic devices requires ever more miniaturised semiconductor circuits.
The miniaturisation of semiconductor circuits involves a wafer fabrication process through dry etching. Circuit miniaturisation requires more thorough dry etching and the number of each etch step increases as capacity additions are incorporated.
Currently, electronic devices use semiconductors with circuit line widths in the 20nm range. However, it is expected that ultra-miniature circuits, with line widths in the 10nm range could be introduced before 2018. This will fuel the demand for semiconductor dry etching equipment.
However, the report cautions that the cyclic nature of the semiconductor industry could pose a challenge to the growth of the dry etching equipment market.