The global semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment market size was valued at USD 4,491.30 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 7,027.43 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.10% during the forecast period (2022-2030).
Semiconductor metrology utilizes a wide variety of instruments, such as ion mills, C-V systems, interferometers, source measure units (SME) magnetometers, optical and imaging systems, profilometers, reflectometers, resistance probes, resistance high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) systems, and X-ray diffractometers. Statistical process control allows a company to improve output and product quality with minimal effort by testing a representative sample of the thousands of wafers processed daily. As a result, the revenue growth of metrology/inspection systems is slower than that of equipment. In the semiconductor metrology/inspection equipment market, many businesses are introducing new products that reflect advancement and innovation.
Smartphones and other consumer electronics, automotive, and other applications drive demand for high-performance, low-cost semiconductor materials. Technology advancements like wireless technologies (5G), artificial intelligence, etc., have inspired these sectors. Additionally, the semiconductor sector is anticipated to be forced to invest in this machinery as a result of the trend toward an increase in Internet of Things (IoT) devices to produce intelligent products.
With the rising need for electronic goods, it is anticipated that the market for metrology equipment will continue to grow. Next-generation, highly precise equipment is already a typical component of production lines thanks to technological breakthroughs. These are equipped with active process control systems, which support steady market expansion. The market participants are constantly working to enhance the equipment's metrology performance.
Businesses in the semiconductor manufacturing business may need the assistance of outside metrologists. These businesses must continue to employ engineers and maintain cutting-edge measurement labs due to technological advancements. However, the corporation would have to spend a lot of money setting up the necessary systems if it wanted to adapt the metrology process to the shift in semiconductor equipment. On the other hand, manufacturers also outsource the services needed to integrate metrology into the product's development and production process chains because establishing a full-fledged metrology department is expensive and makes it challenging to achieve the desired return on investment (ROI). The high expense of facility maintenance is caused by the calibration and maintenance of the tools used in metrology. Additionally, the cost is increased by the requirement to engage qualified personnel and give them ongoing training. The absence of adequately trained employees to oversee metrology systems directly results from these problems.
Smart devices and connected devices have been widely embraced by people all over the world. Modern electronics have the processing power and can accommodate many more sensors in a short space than old or outmoded electronics. The longer lifespan of the device is also a result of metrology's importance in semiconductor design and sustaining low error rates. By reducing error rates, advances in metrology have made it possible for businesses to make vast quantities of semiconductors. Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) predicted that silicon wafer sales for semiconductor applications will surpass 17,600 million square inches by 2025, up from 11,810 million square inches in 2019. This is anticipated to create opportunities for the global market during the forecast period.
The global semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment market is segmented by type.
Based on type, the global semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment market is bifurcated into lithography metrology overlay, dimension equipment, mask inspection/metrology) wafer inspection, thin film metrology, and other process control systems.
The lithography metrology segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.90% during the forecast period. The necessity for larger wafer sizes for ultra-large-scale integrated fabrication technology has driven the rise of lithography metrology equipment due to ongoing transitions such as downsizing nodes and wafer sizes. A critical dimension scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM), a tool used in producing electronic devices, is typically used to measure the dimensions of the patterns created on the wafer. Due to the manufacturing of semiconductors, CD-SEM is currently in high demand. In order to enable downsizing and decrease the wavelength of lithography, several suppliers in the market have been progressively improving their products.
Vendors like ASML and KLA have fiercely vied for market dominance in the lithography metrology equipment market. In order to strengthen its position, ASML, which derives 70–80% of its revenue from litho equipment, has been moving more and more into the field of mask optimization. The competitiveness in the sector is predicted to increase due to these developments.
Manufacturers can identify pattern faults on wafers and physical defects from foreign materials using wafer defect inspection systems by collecting the coordinates of the defects. Unpatterned wafer inspection searches for flaws in raw or unprocessed silicon wafers, while other varieties are the opposite of this process. Wafer inspection is divided into two categories: patterned and unpatterned. Vendors like KLA-Tencor, Rudolph, and Hitachi High-Technologies are a few well-known rivals in the market for unpatterned wafer inspection. Substrates with diameters of 300mm, 200mm, and less are created by silicon wafer manufacturers. The need for wafers is increasing along with the demand for electronics, which is anticipated to increase the need for unpatterned wafer inspection equipment.
The global semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.20 % during the forecast period. In terms of production and consumption, Asia-Pacific is one of the critical regions for the semiconductor industry. China holds the largest share of the Asia-Pacific semiconductor market, which SIA claims to be the largest regional semiconductor market. The semiconductor metrology/inspection equipment market is seeing a lot of collaboration and partnership agreements between local businesses. For instance, the largest chip developer in China, Huawei's HiSilicon Technologies company, and Shenzhen JT Automation Equipment, a Chinese tool manufacturer for chip fabrication, established a legally binding five-year memorandum of understanding in July 2021. Both businesses want to construct a self-sufficient, regulated industry while expanding their collaboration on developing semiconductor packaging tools.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.95%, generating USD 1,194.36illion during the forecast period. The semiconductor industry in the United States and Canada continues to be a global leader in cutting-edge wireless networks like 5G, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence (AI). Despite 2019's negative year-over-year sales growth, the American semiconductor industry has continued to dominate the worldwide market and maintain relatively high R&D and capital spending. Investments in the semiconductor sector are surging in the nations of North America. A sizeable portion of this investment is also allocated for equipment supporting cutting-edge fabs across the US. The United States hosts 18 states' worth of fab capacity for the semiconductor industry, which helps the nation's exports and employment.
The European region has one of the smallest market shares because there are few semiconductor manufacturing companies. Over the forecast period, aerospace and defense, automotive, and renewable energy investments are projected to impact the region's semiconductor demand significantly. With the rising need for consumer electronic gadgets, the year-over-year increase in demand for semiconductor equipment is anticipated to gain traction in the region. The vertical integration and consolidation efforts in the European fabrication sector improved the ability of some semiconductor firms to invest in growth. These significant market changes are anticipated to drive demand for new semiconductor fabrication and processing facilities over the forecast period, raising the need for semiconductor metrology and inspection tools.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates are critical countries in the Middle East and Africa with some of the most advanced renewable energy programs. Controlling the generation of and connecting to the network of renewable energy sources is primarily accomplished by power semiconductors. As a result, semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment are used more frequently in the region's renewable energy solutions. Additionally, the region is consuming more consumer electronics, which is anticipated to open up market potential. Lower expenses, compared to those in the United States and Europe, encourage domestic and foreign businesses to conduct business in Latin American nations.
List of top key global semiconductor metrology and inspection equipment market suppliers
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