Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP) Equipment and Materials

Published - Oct 2008| Analyst - Margareth Gagliardi| Code - AVM047B
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for CMP is expected to be worth $2.8 billion in 2008. This should increase to $5.5 billion in 2013, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7%.
  • Global sales for CMP and post-CMP equipment are expected to reach $1.3 billion in 2008 and $2.5 billion in 2013, a CAGR of 13.5%.
  • CMP slurries generated $660.0 million in 2007 and an estimated $758.0 million in 2008. This should reach $1.6 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 16.4%.



Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) is a process that, during the past 20 years, has achieved a high level of importance in various industrial sectors, particularly in microelectronics.

BCC published its first report on Equipment and Materials for Semiconductor Cleaning and Planarization in 2001, followed by a more detailed study related to chemical mechanical polishing in 2003. During the last 5 years, various technological advances have occurred in this field, leading to increased market demand for CMP equipment and materials.

The main goal of this report is to provide new insights into current CMP technology, outlining technological trends, and supplying an updated market analysis of equipment and materials utilized for chemical mechanical polishing. 

Specifically, the major objectives of this study are to:

  • Provide an updated review of the chemical mechanical polishing process and related equipment, focusing on the most advanced equipment upgrades and variants.
  • Provide an overview of materials commonly used in chemical mechanical polishing and identify new materials.
  • Highlight new technological developments in chemical mechanical polishing, while outlining technical issues.
  • Review the fields of application for CMP and investigate emerging applications.
  • Estimate current global markets for CMP equipment and materials (including CMP and post-CMP equipment, CMP slurries, CMP pads and pad conditioners) with growth forecasts through 2013 for each market segment.
  • Identify important technology and market trends within each market segment.
  • Supply an updated review of current producers of equipment and materials for chemical mechanical polishing.
  • Identify major users of CMP equipment, slurries, pads and pad conditioners.
  • Provide a description of current worldwide research activities and evaluate their impact on industry growth.
  • Determine trends in U.S. patents issued during the most recent years


Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) is used to create very smooth (i.e., polished) surfaces. During manufacturing of advanced devices used in microelectronics and other fields of application, chemical mechanical polishing serves the critical function of producing near perfectly flat (or planar) films and preparing the film surface for the deposition of successive layers. For this reason, the CMP process is also known as chemical mechanical planarization.

Although the origins of the CMP process can be traced back to the 1960s, it was not until the 1980s that this technology entered the main stream, when IBM introduced CMP for the planarization of inter-layer dielectrics and multilayered metal structures in semiconductor devices.

Since then the market for CMP equipment and materials has grown steadily, accompanied by a rapid increase in R&D activities aimed at developing slurry formulations and equipment designs to meet more stringent requirements associated with the increasing miniaturization of microelectronic devices.

Today, the CMP market is worth $2.8 billion and still growing at a fairly healthy pace.

The principal reason for doing this study is to present a current assessment of the CMP industry from both a technological and market point of view and to outline future trends and key developments.

There is also a need to evaluate the current status and future trends of the CMP industry from a global standpoint. With the ongoing globalization of markets and the relocation of many manufacturing facilities to lower cost countries, it is also necessary to provide a geographical mapping of points of production of CMP equipment and materials, relative to global sales and distribution. Such an evaluation will contribute to a broader understanding of growth opportunities for CMP equipment and materials, and their applications within the U.S. and abroad.

An equally important reason for performing this study is to provide an overview of global R&D activities related to the CMP industry, both within public and private organizations, and to illustrate the latest technological developments that can assist companies in finding opportunities for process and productivity improvements and, consequently, positively impact their future market growth.


This study will be of primary interest to all companies that:

  • Manufacture, sell, and distribute materials and equipment for chemical mechanical polishing.
  • Fabricate semiconductors and other devices requiring planarization in their manufacturing process.
  • Offer coating services to the thin film industry.
  • Supply abrasive powders and nanomaterials.
  • Produce cleaning solutions for the post-CMP process.
  • Manufacture analytical instruments for thickness, flatness, and/or surface roughness characterization.
  • Provide technical and/or marketing services for the microelectronics industry.
  • Are planning to enter the semiconductor industry as manufacturers of polishing equipment or suppliers of chemicals, abrasives, and etching solutions.

Overall, this study applies to industry segments such as microelectronics, data storage media, flat panel displays, optical coatings, and the general coating sector.

The study is mainly directed towards executives, directors, operations managers, sales and marketing managers, and strategic planners working within the above industries. Universities and research facilities may also find this study to be a good source of technical information regarding CMP technology, materials, and equipment, which can be used as a baseline for new or expanded R&D activities.


This study provides an updated review of chemical mechanical polishing technology, including equipment and materials, and identifies current and potential applications for this technology.

BCC Research determines the current market status of chemical mechanical polishing, defines trends, and presents forecasts of growth over the next 5 years. Technological issues, including the latest process developments, are also discussed.

BCC Research analyzes the CMP industry on a worldwide basis from the standpoint of both manufacturing and consumption. In addition, the study examines commercial and public research activities in major regions of the world. Research objectives and areas of interest related to equipment, materials, and applications of chemical mechanical polishing are also outlined. 

More specifically, BCC’s market analysis is divided into five parts.

In the first part, a historical review of the CMP process is provided, including an outline of recent events. In addition, the report supplies a revised and detailed description of a typical CMP process and of recent equipment and process upgrades. In this section, current and emerging applications of chemical mechanical polishing are also identified and divided by sector (i.e., electronics and optics).

The second part of the report entails a global market analysis of CMP equipment and materials. Current technical issues are described, followed by a review of related, recent technological developments and patent abstracts. Global revenues (sales data in M$) for CMP equipment and materials are presented by product type, application, and region, with actual data referring to the years 2006, 2007, and estimated data for the year 2008.

This section is completed by a presentation of market growth trends, based on industry growth, technological trends, and regional trends. Projected revenues for CMP equipment and materials are reported, with forecast CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for the period 2008 through 2013.

In the third part, covering global industry structure, the report provides a complete list of suppliers of CMP equipment and materials with a description of their products. The analysis includes a description of the geographical distribution of these firms and an evaluation of production versus consumption for CMP equipment and materials, always from a geographical standpoint. Detailed company profiles of the top industry players and relative market share for the five leading companies are also provided.

In the fourth part of this study, an analysis of industry competitiveness is performed. This analysis encompasses a review of global research and development activities, with profiles of the most important R&D players divided by region, and an outline of the most critical factors contributing to industry competitiveness.

The fifth and final section includes extensive U.S. patent analysis, with a summary of patents related to CMP equipment, materials, process, and applications, issued during the period 2006 through 2008. Patent analysis is performed by region, country, assignee, patent category, application, and material type.


The technology section of this report is based on information derived from technical literature, related BCC’s reports, professional journals, author’s field experience, and online sources.

Global market analysis was performed by analyzing 85 manufacturers of equipment and materials used in chemical mechanical polishing, accounting for at least 95% of the global market. Data for each company were obtained by thoroughly analyzing SEC filings, internet web sites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines and catalogs, government sources, and other public sources.

Additional data were obtained from the direct contribution of primary sources, including: company executives, managers, engineers and other technical personnel representing manufacturers and developers of materials and equipment for chemical mechanical polishing; representatives of academia and trade associations; and industry market analysts.

Secondary sources of information include:

  • EDGAR – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Filings
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • European Patent Office
  • Company Web Sites
  • Company Annual Reports
  • Thomas Registers
  • Moody’s Directory
  • S & P Industry Survey
  • Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory
  • Foreign Chamber of Commerce Directories
  • Foreign Stock Exchange Listings

In addition to utilizing the above primary and secondary sources, market growth trends and forecasts were compiled by gaining additional insights from relevant financial and market information, relevant BCC reports, and the author’s own in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the collected information.


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

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.


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