CMP Consumables US$2.9B in 2021 for IC Fabs

High growth in demand for logic and memory 3D metal

San Diego, CA, February 17, 2021: TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information—announces that the global market for chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP) consumable materials in semiconductor manufacturing is expected to grow over 13% year-over-year (YoY) to US$2.93 billion in 2021. CMP consumables including slurries, pads, and conditioning disks are all in high demand due to the need for more planarization steps with 3D devices, and supplies are stable despite COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. CMP materials revenues are forecasted to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% as shown in the table from TECHCET’s quarterly update on CMP Consumables: Slurry, Pads, and Conditioning Disks Markets for Semiconductor Applications report (below).

While there has been recent growth in demand for CMP on 200mm silicon wafers, most of the escalating demand today and for the near future is in CMP of metals on 300mm wafers. For logic chips, the largest demand segments are for copper (Cu)-bulk as well as Cu-barrier since the number of Cu interconnect levels on an advanced logic chip continues to increase, despite cobalt (Co) and ruthenium (Ru) gradually being used. For memory chips, increases in the number of layers in 3D-NAND chips drives continued rapid growth in demand for tungsten (W) slurry.

3D-NAND chips rely on W metal for reliable wordline contacts to staggered “staircase” pads within the many layers. Depending upon the manufacturing strategy 64-128 layers is the most that can be economically processed, such that commercial 3D-NAND fabs have to start stacking “tiers” of layer sets. Each additional tier requires additional CMP, so the demand for W CMP is increasing more than the silicon wafer starts.

The CMP consumables market is seeing increased focus on localization of the supply-chain, as global buyers re-examine their value-chains. South Korean giant SKC built a CMP pad manufacturing plant in Cheonan last year, and the plant is scheduled to be put into operation in the second quarter of this year.

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