In the cold winter of semiconductor, this key material is in short supply

2022/11/21 17:25:35

Although the overall prosperity of the semiconductor industry is poor, there is a shortage of key materials.
According to South Korea's ET News, semiconductor photomask is in short supply, and many major photomask suppliers, including Photonics, Toppan, DNP, are placing high orders.
In the past, the shipping time of high specification photomask products was 7 days under normal conditions, but now it has been extended to 30-50 days, 4-7 times the original time; The delivery time of low specification products also doubled.
The industry is worried that next year the price of this material may rise by 10% - 25% from this year's peak, and the delivery time may be further extended.
At present, it is rare that the price of photomask rises against the trend before the cold winter of semiconductor industry passes. In fact, the gap between supply and demand mainly comes from two aspects:
First, semiconductor manufacturers revealed that the delay in the delivery of equipment such as electron beam etching for photomask has hindered the production of photomask.
Second, it comes from the demand side. It is understood that the soaring demand mainly comes from system level chips, especially high-performance chips such as automotive chips and automatic driving chips. The strong demand in the downstream field drives IC design plants to expand their orders, thus increasing the demand for photomask.
In this case, insiders predict that the production schedule of semiconductor OEM manufacturers may be further delayed, and the OEM price will rise accordingly; However, the problem of car core shortage that has been gradually eased in the near future may turn to shortage again.
The disclosed information shows that in the semiconductor manufacturing process, it is necessary to use photo etching technology to form graphics on the chip. In order to copy the pattern on the wafer, we must use the help of the photomask - this process is similar to that of copying the image to the photo by using the negative when developing the photo, so the photomask is also called the "negative" of the lithography process.
According to the data of the International Semiconductor Industry Association, photomask will account for about 12% of semiconductor materials in 2020, second only to silicon wafer. CITIC Securities has pointed out that in the short term, the demand for localization of semiconductor materials is strong, and leading enterprises are expected to accelerate their market share; In the medium and long term, as the key consumables for chip manufacturing, the total market share of materials continues to expand. The implementation of new capacity will bring new increment to material demand; Technological upgrading will bring about an increase in the value and use of materials.
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