The semiconductor equipment market is expected to register a CAGR of 8%, during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
- The overall semiconductor industry is driven by smartphones and other applications across consumer electronics, automotive applications, etc., as these industries have been driven by technology transitions such as wireless technologies (5G) and Artificial intelligence. Owing to these factors the total wafer shipments that declined in 2019 are expected to resume growth in 2020.
- This is indicative of the data released by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), that stated that Semiconductor Equipment Industry experienced a 10.5% drop to USD 57.6 billion in 2019, but is expected to recover in 2020 and reach new highs in 2021.
- One of the major beneficiaries of expansion of 5G networks are Smart Phone segments that make extensive use of semiconductor chips. The proliferation of 5G in emerging economies is expected to increase the penetration of smart phones. Samsung in 2019 shipped 295.1 million smartphones across the globe. It held a 20.9% market share, up from 20.3% respectively in 2018. Hence, presently the mobile system-on-chip (SoC) designs for tablets and smartphones are among the fastest growing class of MPUs.
- The etch equipment industry is likely to experience a continued demand for mature 200mm equipment, considering the increasing demand for 200mm Wafer from Internet of Things, automotive and industrial applications, driven by Asia.
- With the outbreak of COVID-19, the production of semiconductor equipments were impacted by constraints and delays in Asia-Pacific region, especially in China, during the months of January and February. Companies have not made major changes to their production capacities but weak demand in China present some supply chain worries. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) report, in February, indicated potential longer-term business impacts outside of China related to the COVID-19. The effect of diminished demand could be reflected in companies' 2Q20 revenues.
Key Market Trends
Increase in Demand of Smartphones will Drive the Market
- Consumer Electronics is the fastest-growing segment among all, which is contributing to market growth. The main driving force for this segment is the growth of smartphones, which is expected to rise, with the rise in population.
- Mobile subscribers are also expected to grow from 5.1 billion in 2018 to 5.8 billion in 2025 as per GSM 2019 Report. Due to the miniaturization trend of mobile devices, there has been a rise in the semiconductor industry, which in returns drives the market for the semiconductor equipment market.
- Moreover, according to the Consumer Technology Association, smartwatch unit sales reached 141 million (unit sales) in 2018, from 75 million in 2017, which is expected to contribute to the semiconductor industry.
- Samsung introduced its Galaxy Watch on August 2018, a smartwatch with a Bluetooth or standalone LTE model. Moreover, Huami Corporation, a biometric and activity data-driven company with significant expertise in smart wearable technology, also launched the Amazfit Verge and the Amazfit smartwatch.
- Therefore, all the above factors are expected to drive the market for the semiconductor equipment.
Asia-Pacific is Expected to Drive the Market Growth
- The Asia-Pacific semiconductor manufacturing equipment market is projected to witness high growth due to the cyclical resumption of growth in the semiconductor industry and the expansion of the equipment manufacturers operating in the region. One of the major factors for this expansion is the financial support that Asian governments are extending to this industry. Chins has established National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund that supports the expansion of the domestic equipment industry.
- Government of India recently proposed launching a new scheme in line with the “Assemble In India" proposal of the 2019-20 Economic Survey to make India a hub for electronic manufacturing in the near future. India and Israel have been collaborating to facilitate development of the Indian electronics manufacturing industry and the 11th India Israel Forum recently proposed the introduction of USD 912 million capex subsidy for new equipment introduction to the industry
- The growing investment into R&D is expected to keep the region ahead of the curve during the forecast period. For instance, TSMC is investing into a new R&D center that is expected to become functional in 2020 and aims to facilitate development of the futuristic 3-nanometer process or even more advanced technology. TSMC plans to undertake mass production of the 5nm process in the first half of 2020 and 3nm in 2022.
The semiconductor equipment market is mature, with a small number of large companies accounting for the vast majority of revenue, profit, and growth. Firm specialization is driven by the high research and development investments and capital expenditures required to compete in the SME industry. Some of the key players are Applied Materials, Inc., ASML Holding Semiconductor Company, KLA Corporation, amongst others. Few recent developments in this market are:
- November 2019 - Applied Materials introduced the Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META Center), a facility aimed at speeding customer prototyping of new materials, process technologies, and devices. As chipmaking is becoming increasingly challenging, the META Center has extended Applied’s ability to collaborate with customers to pioneer new ways of improving chip performance, power, and cost.
- July 2019 - Applied Materials announced the acquisition of the semiconductor equipment maker, Kokusai Electric, for USD 2.2 billion, from KKR & Co. (KKR). This acquisition is expected to strengthen Applied’s footprint in Asia and add to the existing processing technologies of the company.
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