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Semi photomask market to grow 4.3% in 2006

Posted: 09 May 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke  The Information Network  photomask market 

After posting annual gains of 18.7 per cent in 2004 and 9.7 per cent in 2005, the semiconductor photomask market will grow 4.3 per cent in 2006, reaching sales of Rs.14,435.20 crore ($3.2 billion), according to The Information Network, a market research company.

"While the semiconductor market is anticipated to grow strongly in 2006, demand for photomasks is directly a function of design activity rather than sales volume from products using photomasks. Therefore, an increase in the semiconductor market does not necessarily translate to an increase in photomask sales," said Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network.

For 2006, more than 50 per cent of the largest capital spenders are directed at memory production expansions, and first and second tier memory vendors are aggressively expanding capacity in 2006, Castellano said.

These changes in the mix of semiconductors towards memory will affect the type and quantity of photomasks utilised. Since DRAM masks are used for a relatively large number of wafers, the market research company projects a reduction in the amount of photomasks manufactured in 2006.

The Japanese market grew 21 per cent on a revenue basis in 2005 to nearly 45 per cent of the worldwide market, while North America remained flat at Rs.1475.10 ($327 million) which represented about 10.6 per cent of the market. European production of photomasks grew at a moderate 3.9 per cent.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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