LONDON — U.S.-based manufacturers will account for 50 percent of the global front-end wafer processing market this year, according to just published data from market research group The Information Network.
The figure for the U.S. manufacturers has fluctuated over the past few years between 54 percent in 2002 but down to 48 percent in 2003, and this year’s performance sees a one percent improvement on 2004.
The research firm maintains its forecast of December 2004 that front-end equipment sales will drop 9.5 percent globally in 2005.
South Korea is seen as a bright spot, growing nearly 20 percent in 2005. The report says U.S.-based manufacturers represented 46 percent of purchases there in 2005, against 35 percent for Japanese-based suppliers. Information Network suggests these trends would continue in 2005.
And according to Robert Castellano, president of the market research group, “China will play an important role in global market shares for 2005, particularly for European suppliers.”
China front-end equipment sales in 2004 represented just 7 percent of U.S.-based companies revenues and 6 percent of Japan-based companies, but nearly a third of Europe-based companies such as ASM International and Unaxis, noted Castellano.
China’s equipment purchases are forecast to drop from $2.8 billion in 2004 to $1.9 billion this year, and according to the report, European suppliers will take a big hit.
The global market shares by front-end manufacturers for 2005 are given as 50 percent for U.S. (up 1 percent on 2004), 37 percent from Japan (no change from 2004) and 12 percent from Europe (down 1 percent).