Chemical Mechanical Planarization of Silicon Enables Development of New Electronics

Chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) is a fundamental technology in the consumer and industrial electronics landscape. Companies in the chemical mechanical planarization market are increasing their production capabilities to meet increasing demands for high-precision electronic wafers. Thus, global planar uniformity is benefitting the semiconducting substrates value and supply chain.

Innovations in CMP have enabled the development of state-of-the-art consumer electronics. Companies in the chemical mechanical planarization market are using silicon to develop high-performance semiconductors. As such, compound semiconductors account for the third-highest revenue amongst all applications in the chemical mechanical planarization market, with an estimated value of ~US$ 700 million by the end of 2027. Thus, the semiconducting properties of silicon make it an ideal choice for the production of transistors, diodes, and microelectronics, amongst others.

Companies in the chemical mechanical planarization space are gauging the incremental opportunities available, as abundance of silicon on the Earth make it a cost-efficient material for the production of high-quality electronic devices. The cost-effectiveness of silicon is likely to lead innovation in electronic devices toward ultra-large-scale-integration and systems-on-chips.

chemical mechanical planarization market infographic

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Advanced Polishing Pads Help Production of High-performance Devices

Chemical mechanical polishing pads play a crucial role in the overall performance of the polishing process. As such, pads are predicted to dominate the chemical mechanical planarization market, and record the second-highest revenue amongst all consumables, with an estimated value of ~US$ 1.3 billion by the end of 2027. Thus, companies are capitalizing on the sales of high-performance devices that have low cost and low power consumption, and are developed with the help of advanced polishing pads. Growing trends of IoT, longer battery life, and mobility are anticipated to contribute to the exponential growth of the chemical mechanical planarization market.

Manufacturers in the chemical mechanical planarization landscape are increasing their focus on device scaling. They are experimenting with advancements in lithography and vertical device integrations for 3D devices. Material innovations also play a dominant role with the implementation of metal gate and novel compound solutions in devices. CMP is becoming increasingly popular in non-IC (integrated circuit) applications, such as the fabrication of micro lens array for improved extraction of light from LED (light emitting diodes).

High-quality Slurries Meet Increasing Requirements in Complex CMP Processes

There is growing demand for high-quality CMP slurries in semiconductor applications. Likewise, the chemical mechanical planarization consumables market is consolidated, with only four major players accounting for ~60% of the market share. Hence, companies are competing to offer high-quality slurries for complex CMP processes. Companies in the chemical mechanical planarization market are increasing their production capacities to deliver higher volumes of dielectric and metal polishing solutions. They are increasing investments in advanced slurry technology with the help of well-funded R&D programs.

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Companies in the chemical mechanical planarization ecosystem are focusing on growing their product portfolios by increasing the availability of premium-quality nitride and polysilicon slurries that can increasingly meet defect reduction requirements. These requirements are complemented with the demand for tighter specifications, at a lower cost of manufacturing. Companies in the chemical mechanical planarization market are making widespread use of water-glass colloidal silica slurries in semiconductor devices.

Enhanced Open Innovation Methods Create Incremental Opportunities in ICAC5

Miniaturization of semiconductors is becoming increasingly prevalent in the chemical mechanical planarization market. However, technical challenges have always been a hurdle for manufacturers in the chemical mechanical planarization ecosystem. To win over these technical challenges, manufacturers are proposing new innovation strategies. These strategies are closed innovation (CI) and open innovation (OI) methods.

In the CI method, only a certain amount of variety and volume of research is pursued for technological development. Hence, companies in the chemical mechanical planarization market are increasingly following the OI method to avoid technological stagnation. With the help of OI, they are extensively pursuing research efforts outside the company with the help of mergers, acquisitions, and strategic collaborations.

The OI method acts as a catalyst for explosive market growth of the electronic devices sector, due to a shift in the single-driver technology involving computers and mobile phones, to the multi-driver technology. The multi-driver technology is anticipated to be increasingly adopted by manufacturers in ICAC5 (IoT, cloud, AI, cars, and 5G) applications. Another application driving incremental opportunities for manufacturers is the technique of wafer drying using the mechanical engineering (ME) technology.

chemical mechanical planarization market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

High-quality slurries are generating incremental opportunities for manufacturers in the chemical mechanical planarization market. These slurries complement the production of complex front-end memory device integrations. Manufacturers should increase their production capabilities for the development of CMP pads that increasingly meet the requirements of high removal rate and reduced defectivity.

However, the rate of anticipated technology innovation does not match the rate of practical technological innovation. To avoid this issue of technology stagnation, manufacturers should adopt OI methods such as introducing innovations in brush cleaning mechanism using ME tribology. Companies should increase their research efforts to experiment with new technologies in semiconductor device fabrication.

Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market: Description

  • The semiconductor wafer fabrication process includes a critical technological procedure called chemical mechanical planarization. Under this procedure, the top surface of the wafer is planarized or polished to produce a flat surface that is flawless. Chemical mechanical planarization plays an important role in manufacture of powerful and faster semiconductor devices.
  • Chemical mechanical planarization is commonly used in ultra-flat surface processing in the semiconductor industry.
  • The global chemical mechanical planarization market is projected to expand at a CAGR of ~8% over the forecast period.
  • As such, the global chemical mechanical planarization market is expected to increase from a value of ~US$ 5 Bn in 2019 to ~US$ 9 Bn by 2027.

Key Growth Drivers of Global Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market

  • Consumer electronics is a rapidly changing, highly competitive industry, which covers a wide range of products such as smartphones, computers, televisions, and videogame consoles. A printed circuit board is a core part of a consumer electronic appliance. Chemical mechanical planarization is a polishing process, wherein, the chemical slurry and mechanical polishing processes are used to remove unwanted conductive or dielectric materials on the silicon wafer. This helps achieve a flat and smooth surface, upon which, layers of integrated circuits are built. Thus, advancements in the consumer electronics industry are boosting the chemical mechanical planarization
  • Printed circuit boards are extensively used in consumer electronics. Key applications include mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), computers (desktops and laptops), recording devices (camcorders, digital cameras, and microphones), entertainment systems (DVD players and video games), and home appliances (alarm clocks, microwaves, refrigerator, coffee makers, etc.).
  • Automobile electronics are electrically generated systems that are employed in road vehicles. Automobile electronics is becoming highly popular owing, to the increase in advancements in technology.
  • Automotive electronics enhances engine control and provides high safety, security, and comfort in a vehicle. Advanced automobiles have evolved as electronic machines with several electronic control units (ECUs), which perform operations such as providing driver assistance through the navigation system; offering in-vehicle infotainment through audio-video devices; and enabling the Internet facility.
  • Applications of electronics in automobiles include airbags, anti-lock braking systems, black boxes, adaptive cruise control systems, drive-by-wire, satellite radios, telematics, emission control, traction control, automatic parking, in-vehicle entertainment systems, night vision, heads-up displays, backup collision sensors, navigational systems, tire pressure monitors, and climate control systems.
  • High-end electronics are used in automobiles to provide vehicle drivers and passengers with in-car navigation, entertainment, and information. Growth in the automotive industry and increase in usage of electronics in the automotive sector are boosting the chemical mechanical planarization market.

Key Challenges in Global Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market

  • Defects in chemical mechanical planarization is one of the major yield detractors in IC (integrated circuit) devices. New structures and materials in 7nm devices make it challenging for the chemical mechanical planarization process to meet device requirements. The chemical mechanical planarization process needs to control or contain not only the number of defects, but also defect size in accordance with the scaling speed.
  • Issues such as film delamination, scratching, dishing, erosion, and corrosion can lead to defects during the chemical mechanical planarization process. This can adversely affect the yield and reliability. 
  • Defects typically formed during the chemical mechanical planarization process include organic residues, water marks, particle adherence and impingement, corrosion pit, and scratches. Types of defects caused by chemical mechanical planarization, such as scratch formation, are critical, as they affect the yield and reliability of the devices.
  • Scratches are one of the most commonly generated defects during the chemical mechanical planarization process. Chemical mechanical planarization scratches could cause an initial failure as well as long-term reliability failure. These issues caused by the chemical mechanical planarization process are likely to hamper the global chemical mechanical planarization market during the forecast period.

Lucrative Opportunities for Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market Players

  • The planarization method by chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) is the standard technology used for the manufacture of semiconductor devices.
  • Increase in focus on mobility, product features, longer battery life, and Internet of Things (IoT) has led to a rise in the demand for high-performance devices with lower cost and low power consumption. Device scaling has been enabled by advancements in lithography, vertical device integration (3D devices), and architectures such as FinFET and 3D NAND. CMP is a key enabler for the transition from planar to 3D device integration of logic and memory chips, each of which has multiple chemical mechanical planarization passes.
  • New and emerging device configurations such as FinFET and 3D memory introduce new materials and new challenges that are not easily solved using the existing technology. New materials, complex interactions with CMP variables, and the need to control uniformity within 10Å across a 300mm wafer (equivalent to 1 hair width variation on a football field) present a need for continuous advancement in CMP product capabilities.
  • Cost reduction and scaling is continuing to drive the need for novel technologies, designs, and device architectures such as 3D NAND and 3D FinFETs, where CMP has become the key enabler to facilitate these technologies. Therefore, chemical mechanical polishing is viewed as an enabling technology in integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing.
  • Chemical mechanical planarization is a unique technology that allows chip manufacturers to undertake some of the most complex and critical patterning steps. Chemical mechanical planarization has revolutionized the way of manufacturing and processing high-technology semiconductors. Industrial usage of chemical mechanical planarization is anticipated to continue to rise at a steady pace in traditional segments and ever-increasing numbers of new segments. 

Asia Pacific to Dominate Global Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market

  • In terms of demand, China has been dominating the chemical mechanical planarization in Asia Pacific since the last few years. The country held ~40% share of the chemical mechanical planarization market in Asia Pacific in 2018. This high share can be ascribed to the expansion in the electronics & semiconductors industry in the country. Increase in chemical mechanical planarization market share of Asia Pacific can be ascribed to extensive electronics and semiconductor production activities in Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.
  • Germany led the chemical mechanical planarization market in Europe with ~25% share in 2018. Substantial growth of the microelectronics industry is likely to boost the consumption of chemical mechanical planarization in the country during the forecast period. 

Leading Players in Global Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market

  • Major players operating in the global chemical mechanical planarization market include Cabot Microelectronics, DuPont Electronic Solutions, and Fujimi Incorporated. These companies consistently develop new global strategies, such as joint ventures and extensive research & development, to expand their capacity and product portfolios, and stay ahead of the competition in the global chemical mechanical planarization market space.

Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market - Scope of the Report

The latest study collated and published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) analyzes the historical and present-day scenario of the global chemical mechanical planarization market, to accurately gauge its potential future development. The study presents detailed information about the important growth factors, restraints, and key trends that are creating the landscape for the future growth of the chemical mechanical planarization market, to identify the opportunistic avenues of the business potential for stakeholders. The report also provides insightful information about how the chemical mechanical planarization market will progress during the forecast period of 2019 to 2027.

The report offers intricate dynamics about different aspects of the chemical mechanical planarization market that aids companies operating in the market in making strategic development decisions. TMR’s study also elaborates on the significant changes that are highly anticipated to configure the growth of the chemical mechanical planarization market during the forecast period. It also includes a key indicator assessment to highlight the growth prospects of the chemical mechanical planarization market, and estimates statistics related to the market progress in terms of value (US$ Mn).

This study covers detailed segmentation of the chemical mechanical planarization market, along with key information and a competitive outlook. The report mentions the company profiles of key players that are currently dominating the chemical mechanical planarization market, wherein, various development, expansion, and winning strategies practiced and executed by leading players have been presented in detail.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Report on Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market

The report provides detailed information about the chemical mechanical planarization market on the basis of comprehensive research on various factors that are playing a key role in accelerating the growth potential of the market. Information mentioned in the report answers path-breaking questions for companies that are currently functioning in the market and are looking for innovative ways to create a unique benchmark in the chemical mechanical planarization industry, so as to help them make successful strategies and take target-driven decisions.

  • Which type of equipment will emerge as a major revenue generator for the market during the forecast period?
  • How are key market players successfully earning revenue out of the advantages of chemical mechanical planarization?
  • What will be the Y-o-Y growth of the chemical mechanical planarization market from 2019 and 2027?
  • What are the winning imperatives of market frontrunners in the CMP market?
  • Which consumable is expected to develop maximum application for chemical mechanical planarization during the foreseeing period?

Research Methodology – Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market

The research methodology adopted by analysts for combining the chemical mechanical planarization market report is based on detailed primary as well as secondary research. With the help of in-depth insights of the industry-affiliated information that is obtained and legitimated by market-admissible resources, analysts have offered riveting observations and authentic forecasts of the chemical mechanical planarization market.

During the primary research phase, analysts interviewed industry stakeholders, investors, brand managers, vice presidents, and sales and marketing managers. On the basis of data obtained through the interviews of genuine resources, analysts have emphasized the changing scenario of the chemical mechanical planarization market.

For secondary research, analysts scrutinized numerous annual report publications, white papers, industry association publications, and company websites to obtain the necessary understanding of the chemical mechanical planarization market.

Chemical Mechanical Planarization Market - Segmentation

TMR’s research study assesses the chemical mechanical planarization market on the basis of equipment, consumable, application, and region. This report presents extensive market dynamics and progressive trends associated with different segments, and how they are influencing the growth prospects of the CMP market.

Equipment

Polishing & Grinding

Slurry Testing

Consumable

Slurry

PAD

PAD Conditioners

Others (including PVA Brushes and Filters)

Application

Integrated Circuits

Optics

Compound Semiconductors

MEMS & NEMS

Others (including VLSI and 3D Membrane Structure)

Region

North America

Latin America

Europe

Asia Pacific

Middle East & Africa

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