The North American electronic chemicals market is likely to benefit significantly from the increasing push toward lower nanometer geometrics that is mandating the need for newer materials. Rather than undertaking expensive equipment changes, semiconductor companies are also increasingly considering alternative solutions to materials, thus augmenting demand for electronic materials.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (financialservices.frost.com), North American Electronic Chemicals Market: Investment Analysis and Growth Opportunities, reveals that this market earned revenues of $5.90 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $7.53 billion in 2011.
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"The explosion of applications in the electronic industry is the biggest driver for shrinking transistor dimensions, and is leading to the development of groundbreaking new materials," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shrikanth S. "In January 2007, Intel announced one of the biggest breakthroughs in fundamental transistor design: transistors with 45 nm circuit dimension. Likewise, rival companies, AMD and IBM, announced similar plans to produce 45 nm transistors based on hafnium high-k material in early 2008."
In 2003, when the chip circuitry shrunk from 130 nm to 90 nm, three to four newer materials were introduced. In 2005, during the breakthrough to 65 nm, about 12 newer materials were initiated and with the initiation of 45 nm transistor dimension, it is anticipated that 30 newer materials would be launched. What is more, the transistor circuit dimension may well shrink further by 2009, thereby spurring the development of newer materials.
However, some of the key issues challenging the electronic chemicals and materials market include a very short product life cycle, rapid product commoditization in the backdrop of increasing costs to develop newer materials and changing customer preferences, which may drive consolidation in the market. Even new products tend to become commoditized quickly due to increasing competition and shortening product life cycles. Therefore, companies have difficulty in providing a differentiated offering to the customers.
"Market participants cannot afford to undertake heavy investment in every single product, as these products typically have short product life cycles of four to five years," says Shrikanth. "In the wake of the increasing cost of developing new materials, some companies may well be forced to exit the market."
Going forward, the electronic materials market is likely to profit immensely from the growing demand for wafer starts. With the cost of building the 300 mm fab expected to significantly escalate in 2007 due to increasing equipment costs, companies are likely to gradually opt for alternative materials instead of expensive equipment changes. Customers are slowly beginning to realize that technological needs can be met more cost effectively, without compromising on the quality, by modifying the materials, rather than by changing equipment.
North American Electronic Chemicals Market: Investment Analysis and Growth Opportunities is part of the Financial Benchmarking and Analysis in the Specialty Chemicals Industry. It provides growth monitor, sector scorecard, company scorecard, electronic chemical stock index and M&A analysis. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analyst thoroughly examine the following markets: IC fabrication materials, PCB materials, and display materials. Interviews with the press are available.
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