Wafer Inspection Equipment Market - Global Industry Insights, Trends, Outlook, and Opportunity Analysis, 2017–2025

Wafer inspection equipment is fabrication system utilized for the detection of defects during the semiconductor wafer manufacturing processes. Increasing application of electronic semiconductor ICs in consumer electronics, industrial, automobile segments and related R&D activities is expected to drive the increased demands for the production. Requirement to maintain the quality of products and the client satisfaction is expected to remain the primary factor that would fuel the wafer inspection equipment market growth.

Proliferation of wireless computing devices are expected to primarily contribute to the industry growth

Advanced wireless networking technologies such as 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and wireless LAN have enabled fast and easy data transmission. Smartphones, tablets, wearables and sensors integrating these technologies have witnessed significant demand increase over the past few years. In conjunction with the demands for high level integration and development of new designs to provide support to multiple application on single platforms, intensive industry competition has led to increased demands for better quality and least defects in the semiconductor devices. Moreover, increasing demands for high performance chips for mission critical applications in industries and R&D activities will present considerable growth opportunities for the wafer inspection equipment market through the forecast period.

IoT, and digitization are the major trends expected to transform the globe, which would require semiconductor technologies as the basis of their framework. Smart connected TVs, vehicle automation, kitchen automation, smart city, smart grids, are among the many such IoT concepts that are expected to gain traction over the next few years. This will increase demand for the electronic product manufacturing, which will in turn fuel the wafer inspection equipment market growth.

Wafer Inspection Equipment Market Taxonomy

On the basis of technology, the global wafer inspection equipment market is classified into:

  • E-beam
  • Optical

On the basis of wafer type, the global wafer inspection equipment market is classified into:

  • Unpatterned wafer
  • Patterned wafer

On the basis of end user, the global wafer inspection equipment market is classified into:

  • Integrated device manufacturers
  • Memory manufacturers
  • Foundries

Advent of 3D finFETs, NAND and advanced DRAMs technologies are expected to present considerable growth challenge to the industry growth

Optical and E-beam are complementary technologies that perform distinct operations in the workflow. optical has fast throughputs and finds great applications in the end use. On the other hand E-beam helps in detection of smallest defects, however the throughputs are low. Owing to these features, it finds substantial applications in R&D activities. Increasing demands for advanced computing and processing has led to development of 3D finFETs, NAND and advanced DRAMs, which requires the tools to assess complex structures. Wafer assessment on the scales below 10 nm is extremely difficult, and in case of overlooking of the smallest error can impact the end use. This is expected to be major industry growth challenge over the next coming years.

Asia Pacific to be key growth engine of the wafer inspection equipment market

Asia Pacific is the largest hub for the electronic semiconductor manufacturing activities, driven by the extensive production demands specifically in the countries that include China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Moreover, the region is also attributed with the presence of key electronic industry participants such as Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, among many others, which will help the region sustain its dominance over the next few years.

U.S. is expected to contribute to major industry share in the industry growth primarily owing to the major inclination of the users towards innovative technologies such as connected vehicles, industrial automation and other process automation. Moreover, the region is also characterized with the presence of major tech giants that include, Google, Tesla, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and GlobalFoundries among many others, which will provide consistent demands for the wafer inspection equipment market.

Key players in the wafer inspection equipment market include Applied Materials, Zeiss Global, Hermes Microvision (ASML), FEI (Thermo Fisher Scientific), KLA-Tencor, Hitachi High-Technologies, JEOL, Lasec Corporation, Lam Research, Nikon, Nanometrics, Planar Corporation, Tokyo Seimitsu, Rudolph Technologies, and Toray Engineering.

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