Plasma etching is a type of plasma processing used extensively in the fabrication process of integrated circuit. Plasma etching is also referred to as dry etching system, as the conventional etching technique is carried out with various corrosive wet chemical acids. During the process of plasma etching, the material to be etched is converted from solid state to gaseous state by the plasma of the process gases and a vacuum pump is used to extract the gaseous products. Generally, three basic etching processes including ion etching, chemical plasma etching and reactive ion etching are used to fabricate integrated circuits depending on applications for which it is used. The overall market growth of plasma etching equipment is majorly dependent on the growth of the semiconductor market across the globally. The global plasma etching equipment market is anticipated to experience a stable growth during the forecast period owing to the extensive technological advancement taking place in the integrated circuit manufacturing techniques across different parts of the world.
In order to provide an exhaustive analysis of the market, the global plasma etching equipment market is segmented on the basis of product type and geography. Different types of plasma etching equipment available in the market includes barrel type plasma etching equipment and planar type plasma etching equipment. In addition, cross sectional analysis of the above mentioned segment across different regions including Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Middle-East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America is also provided in this report.
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Rising demand for compact, energy efficient and electronic devices having enhanced performance is predicted to trigger the need of developing miniature semiconductor integrated circuits. For miniaturizing integrated circuit, the circuit have to undergo advanced circuit fabrication process with small geometries and thus requires precise pattern transfer. This in turn is anticipated to boost the demand for plasma etching equipment during the forecast period from 2017 to 2025. In addition, enormous technological upgradation taking place in the IoT (Internet of Thing) application in order to provide technologically advanced smart devices to different consumers across the globe is also predicted to accelerate the demand of advanced semiconductors in the coming eight years, thereby affecting the market of semiconductor etching equipment positively in the near future. Among the different process of semiconductor etching, plasma etching used the most as plasma etching process consumes less chemical and is most suitable for automation and single wafer manufacturing. Further, plasma etching provides the waterless method of etching material and thus protect water sensitive wafers from getting contaminated.
In spite of so many factors driving the market, the global plasma etching equipment market is predicted to witness a sluggish growth rate due to fluctuating nature of the semiconductor equipment industry. In many cases, manufacturing of equipment outpace the demand from different end users segment, which in turn results in huge inventory pile up. Thereby forcing the equipment manufacturers to lower the price for clearing the stock and thus results in less revenue inflow. This in turn, is anticipated to hinder many semiconductor equipment manufacturers to enter into the market, thereby affecting the market negatively.
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Geographically, the global plasma etching equipment market is majorly driven by the Asia Pacific region in terms of growth during the forecast period from 2017 to 2025. The primary factor behind this region’s dominance is attributed to the rising demand for smart devices such as smart television sets, smart phones, tablets and various other IoT devices among others. Increasing demand for smart and portable devices is expected to trigger the demand for miniature integrated circuits, which in turn is anticipated to boost the demand for plasma etching equipment market rapidly in the coming years. In addition, this region is also anticipated to dominate the market throughout the forecast period owing to huge concentration of semiconductor manufacturers in countries such as Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and China among others.
Despite of the presence of limited plasma etching equipment manufacturers across different parts of the world, huge competition exist among the vendors due to strong market penetration of some existing manufacturers in the market. Some of the major players operating in the market includes APPLIED Materials Inc. (The U.S), Lam Research Corp. (The U.S) and Tokyo Electron Ltd. (Japan) among others.