Sputter Targets & Metals Demand Met with COVID-impacted Lead-times and Costs

Delivery lead-times lengthening and costs spike as Targets Revenues push ahead 8.5% to US$740 Million

San Diego, CA, September 13, 2021:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced COVID-19 related logistic issues remain, causing increased delivery lead-times and higher logistic costs for targets and metals among other materials. Chip fabricators and sputtering target suppliers both confirm tight supply and long lead-times for Cu/Cu alloy targets, as well as, Cu and Ta Hollow Cathode Magnetron (HCM) targets used in 200 mm Novellus (Lam Research) PVD systems. Longer lead-times for Cu and Cu alloy targets are the result of strong demand for these materials in advanced device fabrication and raw material price increases.

Raw material metal pricing is increasing in a number of segments, such as Cu, Co, Al, and Ta, given the demand increase with an improving global economy. The limited development of new Cu mines, coupled with aging, less productive existing mines, could also put pressure on future pricing as overall demand is forecasted to increase in the coming decades. The pricing for precious metals, such as Ag, Pd, Ru, and Ir has risen as well: Ag and Pd pricing up 40% from the early 2020 baseline and, versus the same baseline, both Ru and Ir experiencing triple-digit price increases.

With supply-demand out of balance especially for Cu/Cu alloy targets, fabs are more receptive to working with “smaller” target suppliers versus the traditionally larger players in the market. TECHCET is aware of memory makers looking at smaller, non-traditional semiconductor industry target suppliers. This drive to pursue alternative sources for Cu/Cu alloy target suppliers may be driven in part to seek more competitive pricing.

The sputtering target (excluding precious metals) market will total US$740 million in 2021, up 8.5% from 2020. Tantalum is the leading target revenue generator due to its high intrinsic cost and selling price, though Ta is replaced in 7nm & below Logic applications.

For more details on specific metals, and targets market segments and growth trajectory go to: https://techcet.com/product/sputter-targets/ 

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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 or www.cmcfabs.org.