300 mm wafer carrier boxes, usually made up of Polypropylene (PP) and Polycarbonate (PC), are used in a variety of applications such as in the manufacturing of semiconductors and for transporting wafers from wafer manufacturers to semiconductor manufacturers.
One of the key factors driving the 300 mm wafer carrier boxes market is the increasing number of operational 300 mm wafer fabrication facilities. There were 112 semiconductor fab processing facilities around the world as of 2018 end (IC Insights), and nine new 300mm wafer fabs are scheduled to open in 2019. These fab facilities are accelerating the demand for FAUP carrier boxes in the wafer manufacturing process and FOSB carrier boxes for safe transportation.
The growing popularity of 450 mm wafers may hinder the growth of the 300 mm wafer carrier boxes market to some extent. Intel is making large-scale investments in 450 mm wafer technology, alongside TSMC, Samsung, and Global Foundries. If the shift from 300 mm to 450 mm wafers is successful, the demand for 450 mm wafers will suppress that of 300mm wafers and subsequently, hinder the growth of the 300mm wafer carrier boxes market.
The global 300 mm wafer carrier boxes market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.6% during the forecast period, 2019–2026.
Polypropylene (PP) is the second most widely produced plastic in the world. The PP segment holds the largest share in the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period, 2019–2024.
Polycarbonate (PC) is a durable material that has high impact-resistance and low scratch resistance. The material is highly transparent to visible light with better transmission than glasses and allows visual inspection without opening. The PC segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.7% during the forecast period, 2019–2024.
Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is resistant to solvents, shrinks very little during forming, mechanically strong, heat-resistant up to 150 °C, and can be treated with flame retardants to make it non-combustible. The PBT segment is expected to register a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period, 2019–2024.
PEEK is a semi-crystalline, high-performance engineering thermoplastic that exhibits mechanical strength, resistance to chemicals, wear, fatigue, and creep, as well as exceptionally high temperature resistance up to 260°C (480°F). The PEEK segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5% during the forecast period, 2019–2024.
Perfluoroalkoxy alkanes (PFAs) exhibit superior resistance to corrosion and chemical contamination and can withstand high temperatures; thus, they are suitable for the manufacturing of silicon wafer carrier boxes. PFA boxes can be customized as per customer requests. The PFA segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.0% during the forecast period, 2019–2024.
The demand for 300mm wafer FOUP is growing in Asia, specifically China and Korea, and manufacturers are taking cognizance of this scenario and investing in capacity expansions to cater to the demand. For instance, in 2018, Entegris invested more than USD 30 million to expand its FOUP production capacity by 30% to meet Asia’s growing demands.
A majority of U.S.-based semiconductor companies have production facilities in Asian countries. The U.S., apart from being a prominent semiconductor market globally, is the top importer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and represents 32% of Taiwanese imports (International Trade Administration); therefore, the demand for 300mm wafer FOSB carriers is growing in Asia-Pacific, particularly in Taiwan.
The North America 300mm silicon wafer carrier boxes market is expected to reach a value of USD 2,517.8 million by 2024. The U.S. is pegged to be the most prominent market in the region; the country dominated the North America market, with a 64.72% value share in 2018. The country is home to most IC manufacturing companies, and these players have production facilities in Taiwan, South Korea, and China, among other Asian countries.
Europe is slated to witness significant growth in the 300mm wafer carrier boxes market, with a CAGR of 14.4% during the forecast period. The U.K. is a frontrunner in the regional market, followed by Germany, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, and the Rest of Europe. Foreign direct investment and international competitiveness of European players drive market growth in the region.
Asia-Pacific is pegged to remain the largest market for 300 mm wafer carrier boxes during the forecast period, with impetus from key global 300 mm wafer carrier manufacturers, which include Taiwan, followed by South Korea, China, and Japan. The region’s semiconductor industry has been exhibiting an upward trend since the last few years. Taiwan was the largest market for semiconductor manufacturing equipment and the sixth-largest U.S. export market for semiconductors as of 2016 (International Trade Administration).
The LAMEA region is expected to witness significant market growth during the forecast period. Israel spearheads demand in the region, on account of the prominent presence of fabless and fab manufacturers in the country. Semiconductor manufacturing start-ups such as Siverge and Anobit and established players such as Broadlight and Mellanox collectively drive the demand for silicon wafers in Israel. International brands – with cognizance of the country’s market potential – are investing in establishing or expanding their manufacturing capacities in the country.
Some of the prominent players in the global 300 mm wafer carrier boxes market are Chung King Enterprise Co., Ltd., Entegris, E-SUN, Gudeng Precision, 3S Korea.co. ltd., Miraial Co., Ltd., Pozzetta, and Shin-Etsu Polymer Co., Ltd.