Chemical Mechanical Polishing Equipment and Materials: A Technical and Market Analysis

Published - Dec 2003| Analyst - Thomas Abraham| Code - AVM047A
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Report Highlights

  • The 2003 worldwide market for CMP and post-CMP equipment and materials is estimated to be $1.7 billion. This is expected to reach $3.2 billion by 2008 rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 14.2%.
  • The largest share of the market is for CMP and post-CMP equipment, which was $925 million in 2003, or 55% of the total market.
  • CMP slurries have a share of 24% followed by CMP pads with 15% of the market, the rest being other consumables. .
  • Average annual growth rates for individual segments are estimated to be between 14% to 15% except for slurry, which is estimated to be between 12% to 13%. This is due to the lowering of the price of nanoparticles in the projected period.


Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) is used during the semiconductor manufacturing process to planarize individual layers in complex integrated circuits to customer specific parameters. CMP is a critical technology in the planarization of multilevel metallization systems and in shallow trench isolations (STI) in semiconductor manufacturing. The rapid emergence of copper and low K dielectrics as interconnect structures for integrated circuits has further pushed CMP technology to the forefront of semiconductor manufacturing.

The technology is well established in the back-end of IC manufacturing, where it was developed to remove variations (bumps) in metallization layers of multi-layer PCB. The shift to smaller critical dimensions and the adoption of new technologies such as low-k dielectric materials and copper interconnect has increased the specifications for a smooth planar wafer surfaces, and its challenges. The result has been the rapid adoption of CMP in front-end wafer processing.

BCC has published a series report on nanomaterials and nanoceramics from 1994 through 2003. These nanomaterials find applications in CMP, the market for which was estimated in these reports. BCC also published Equipment and Materials for Semiconductor Cleaning and Planarization in 2001. Since then, several new developments have taken place especially with the feature sizes; in most advanced ICs decreasing to less than 0.15 microns, further increasing CMP's importance in semiconductor manufacturing. Other applications are also emerging for CMP, and in particular, memory devices.

The market for CMP equipment alone has reached $1 billion dollars. CMP slurry and CMP pads markets have also grown substantially in the last five years. With new developments in the offing and continued secrecy on the part of those involved in this industry, this BCC report was produced to thoroughly analyze the technology and markets of this industry, specifically technological and issues, new developments and the trends in CMP equipment, materials and applications.


The report provides:

  • An in-depth analysis of the CMP technology and its applications
  • Identification of the technological and issues related to CMP
  • Examination of major new developments and technology changes and their impact on CMP
  • Analysis of domestic and foreign competition among companies within each market segment
  • Analysis of the size and future growth of the markets for CMP and post-CMP equipment, slurries, pads and pad conditioners, and other consumables, with forecasts through 2008
  • Profiles of all worldwide producers of CMP and post CMP equipment and materials
  • Identification of major users.


The findings of this report are based on information derived from interviews with almost all producers and suppliers of CMP and post-CMP equipment, CMP slurries, CMP pads and other consumables. Industry experts in planarization were also contacted for this study. BCC also spoke to some researchers conducting R&D in CMP process and slurries. In addition, many end users were contacted to evaluate the current and future demand for CMP equipment, and CMP slurries and materials. In all, about 100 persons from over 60 companies and institutions were contacted for this study.

Secondary data were obtained from trade publications, technical journals, CMP and nanomaterials conference proceedings, government statistics and the BCC, Inc. database.

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