ALD Equipment Companies – ASM International N.V. (Netherlands) and Tokyo Electron Limited. (Japan) are the Key Players

Chicago, March 19, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The ALD equipment market size is estimated to be worth USD 3.9 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 6.2 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 10.0% during the forecast period. The growing semiconductor industry is expected to provide growth opportunities for market players offering ALD equipment. Moreover, increasing adoption of more than Moore devices such as CMOS image sensors, MEMS & sensors, RF devices, etc. is also a key factor contributing to the market growth of ALD equipment.

  • ALD Equipment companies include:
  • ASM International N.V. (Netherlands),
  • Tokyo Electron Limited. (Japan),
  • Applied Materials, Inc. (US),
  • Veeco Instruments Inc. (US).

The market players have adopted various strategies such as product launches, partnerships, collaborations, contracts, acquisitions, and expansions to strengthen their position in the ALD equipment market. The organic and inorganic strategies have helped the market players to expand themselves globally by providing new and advanced ALD equipment solutions.

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ASM International N.V. (Netherlands) offers ALD equipment such as ALD systems, thermal ALD system and plasma-enhanced ALD systems. ASM International N.V. focuses on both organic and inorganic growth strategies such as product launches, expansions and acquisitions to strengthen its position in the ALD equipment market. For instance, in March 2022, ASM International N.V. acquired Reno Sub-Systems Inc., a company that offers RF matching sub-systems for equipment utilized to manufacture semiconductors such as ALD equipment. This acquisition strengthened the product portfolio of ASM International N.V.

Tokyo Electron Limited. (Japan) is a multinational corporation that specializes in manufacturing equipment used in the production of semiconductors. Tokyo Electron Limited. focuses extensively on organic growth strategies such as expansions to strengthen its position in the market. In March 2023, the company announced a new development facility at the Hosaka office in Nirasaki City, Yamanashi Prefecture. This expansion will serve the continuous technological advancements used to make semiconductors more diverse and complex.

ALD Equipment Market Dynamics

Driver: Rising number of 3D NAND SSDs

The growing trend of miniaturization in electronic devices, coupled with advancements such as 3D NAND memory and FinFET-based transistor devices, has generated a heightened demand for the precise deposition of conformal thin films. Therefore, ALD plays a crucial role in the miniaturization of electronic devices as it enables the deposition of materials with exceptional conformality even at temperatures around 400°C. Moreover, ALD provides a valuable means to achieve high-quality thin films, essential for optimizing the performance and efficiency of these cutting-edge technologies. Therefore, the increasing number of 3D NAND SSDs is expected to drive the market growth for ALD equipment.

Restraint: Shortage of trained workforce

The increasing demand for semiconductor devices from many end user industries, such as consumer electronics and automotive, has created several opportunities for the market players. However, the shortage of skilled technicians for such complex processes has not enabled the market players to utilize these opportunities to the fullest. So, the need for highly skilled workers to carry out these complicated tasks is a big problem that may restrain ALD equipment market growth.

Opportunity: The escalating need for photovoltaic systems

Photovoltaics are integrated into solar cells; the growing demand for solar cells contributes to the growing deployment of photovoltaics, which is expected to drive the market growth for ALD equipment. ALD films are also used in solar cells as surface passivation layers, buffer layers, window layers, absorber layers, and hole/electron contact, which can further drive the market growth of ALD equipment. Moreover, the health and environmental advantages of adopting photovoltaic power are particularly significant in densely populated areas heavily reliant on coal power, in contrast to sparsely populated regions abundant in clean hydropower or wind energy. Consequently, the surging demand for photovoltaics has led to an increased deployment of ALD equipment, which is expected to drive the market growth of ALD equipment in the future.

Challenge: Rising technical challenges and process complexities

Manufacturing semiconductors demands an extremely clean environment and equipment. Even a tiny speck of dust can disrupt the process and lead to significant financial losses. If there are manufacturing mistakes that cause supply delays, it can result in more losses and even canceled orders. Common problems in semiconductor manufacturing involve issues with the materials, mechanical strength, and the chips. Therefore, the increasing technical difficulties and process complexities in semiconductor manufacturing may impede the market growth of ALD equipment.

Applied Materials, Inc. (US) is a leading provider of materials engineering solutions. It offers ALD systems that cater to semiconductor and non-semiconductor applications. The company focuses on organic growth strategies such as product launches and expansions and inorganic growth strategies such as collaborations and acquisitions to expand their share in the ALD equipment market. For instance, in June 2022, Applied Materials announced the acquisition of Picosun Oy, a global leader in ALD based in Finland. This acquisition allows Applied Materials to harness Picosun’s capabilities to provide innovative solutions for the automotive, IoT, communications, sensor, and power markets. This acquisition would broaden Applied Materials’ product portfolio related to specialty chips.

LAM RESEARCH CORPORATION. (US) offers ALD systems that cater to applications such as MEMS & sensors, photonics, power devices, RF devices, medical, energy, CMOS image sensors, and conventional optics. The company focuses extensively on organic growth strategies such as product launches and expansions. For instance, in September 2020, the company launched the Striker FE ALD system that is highly suitable for manufacturing high aspect-ratio chip architectures. The system uses ICEFill technology for filling structures in 3D NAND, logic devices, and DRAM chips.

Veeco Instruments Inc. (US) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of semiconductor process equipment. The company offers ALD equipment such as ALD system, thermal ALD systems, and plasma enhanced ALD system. Veeco Instruments Inc. extensively focuses on inorganic growth strategies such as partnerships to strengthen its position in the market.

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