Global semiconductor photomask market forecast to reach US$3.57b in 2018, says SEMI

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): The global semiconductor photomask market is forecast to reach US$3.57 billion in 2018 after hitting US$3.2 billion in 2016, according to the U.S.-based Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI).

A photomask is tool used for productions of components including electronic devices (semiconductors), displays, PCB, MEMS. It is a master copy for the patterning.

In a statement on its website yesterday, SEMI said that after increasing 1% in 2015, the photomask market increased 2% in 2016.

It said the mask market is expected to grow 4% and 3% in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

SEMI said key drivers in this market continue to be advanced technology feature sizes (less than 45nm) and increased manufacturing in Asia-Pacific.

“Taiwan remains the largest photomask regional market for the sixth year in a row and is expected to be the largest market for the duration of the forecast,” said SEMI.

It said revenues of US$3.32 billion place photomasks at 13% of the total wafer fabrication materials market, behind silicon and semiconductor gases.

By comparison, SEMI reported that photomasks represented 18% of the total wafer fabrication materials market in 2003.

It said another trend highlighted is the increasing importance of captive mask shops.

It explained that captive mask shops, aided by intense capital expenditures in 2011 and 2012 continue to gain market share at merchant suppliers’ expense.

“Captive mask suppliers accounted for 63% of the total photomask market last year, up from 56% in 2015. Captive mask shops represented 31% of the photomask market in 2003,” it said.

A recent published SEMI report, 2016 Photomask Characterization Summary, provides details on the 2016 Photomask Market for seven regions of world including North America, Japan, Europe, Taiwan, Korea, China, and Rest of World.

The report also includes data for each of these regions from 2003 to 2018 and summarises lithography developments over the past year.