Electronic Gas Markets – Strong Growth, Pressing Supply-Chain Issues

Neon Gas Faces Supply Issues Due to the Russia/Ukraine Conflict; Supply Constraints for Helium Gas in 2022

San Diego, CA, March 3, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm — announced a positive growth outlook for Electronic Gases through 2026. The 2022 Electronic Gas market is expected to top US$7 billion, driven mainly by logic chip fab expansions. Despite an expected 8% CAGR, there are pressing supply-chain issues, both nearer term and possibly longer term, exist in this industry segment. The Russia-Ukraine war is sparking growing concerns relating to the availability of gases such as neon, helium and other gases critical to semiconductor production around the globe.

The turmoil in the region, and related economic sanctions against Russia, will likely affect several key gases used by the semiconductor industry. Neon and helium are two examples. TECHCET’s latest analysis shows that majority of all high purity neon imports into the US is coming from the Ukraine. This represents <50% of total US demand.

TECHCET’s contacts in Ukraine indicate that rare gas purifiers in Ukraine have been temporarily shut down due to the conflict. So far there has only been an interruption of 5-6 days. However, if the fighting lingers on this could have a major impact on the chip industry that has been pushing hard to increase production.

Many of the supply-chains that support the industry are running thin on capacity. Investments in more material production has been lacking and demand for materials has been growing so fast that material pinch points exist in nearly every material segment, including gas processing equipment and subsystems. On-going issues on lead-times for all types of components related to gas processing (tool gas box upgrades, precursor deliver systems, bulk refill) are expected to impact lead-times for gas and precursor supply systems

“Even those material supply-chains that were looking fairly balanced in 2020 are increasingly getting pinched and any perturbation in the supply-chain can cause shortage issues,” said Lita Shon-Roy, TECHCET’s President & CEO. Helium is a prime example where hiccups in the supply-chain are causing increased lead-times and availability problem as the chip industry pushes up their demand. The US BLM, the US’s key source of helium, has been experiencing maintenance issues, delaying product availability, and Russia’s Gazprom purified helium production has been delayed (6 months or more) due to fire incidents over the past several months. “Add war into the mix and supply can be even further strained,” offered Shon-Roy.

As new semiconductor device fabs come online in the next few years, supply constraints may appear for other gases (B2H6, WF6, NF3, CF-gases) as demand increases are expected to outpace supply.

For more details on the Electronics Gas market segments and growth trajectory go to:
https://techcet.com/product/gases/

Don’t forget to register for the 2022 Critical Materials Conference (CMC) on April 28-29 in Chandler, AZ.

ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact info@cmcfabs.org, +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.