By Dr. Cameron Chai
The Information Network has published a new report titled ‘The Global Market for Equipment and Materials for IC Manufacturing.’
According to the report, ASML is the market leader in the semiconductor lithography industry, with a share of 57% based on the number of units shipped in 2011. Nikon holds the second place with a share of 27.8% followed by Canon with a share of 15.2%. In terms of revenues, ASML’s share was 81.6% in 2011. In 2001, Nikon was leading the market with a share of 41.6%, while Canon and ASML shares were 34.8% and 22.4%, respectively.
In 2006, Canon held a share of 48.8% in the low-end i-line stepper market, the least advanced lithography technology to fabricate chips. Nikon held the second place with a share of 34.9% followed by ASML with a share of 16.3%. Canon has continued its dominance in the market and its share in 2011 was 52.9%. Nikon was the second with a share of 40% and ASML held the third place with a share of 7.7%.
ASML achieved a share of 72.4% in the immersion market’s first year in 2006, while Nikon represented the remaining share of 27.6% as Canon did not enter into the market. ASML maintained its leadership in the market and achieved a share of 82% in 2011, while the share of Nikon fell down to 18%.
The Information Network’s President, Dr. Robert N. Castellano stated that it seems that the existing lithography market scenario is set, and extended ultra violet lithography (EUVL) will be the next market for Canon or Nikon to regain market dominance in leading technology. In fact, Nikon shipped one EUVL tool in 2008, but postponed further advancement.
In 2010, Nikon had announced that its high-volume EUVL tool will be available in 2014-2015. In the meantime, ASML had shipped three EUVL systems in 2011. Dr. Castellano informed that ASML’s monopoly in the high-end stepper market, such as EUVL and ArF immersion tools, has and will have a major impact on manufacturers dealing in semiconductors.