Ultrapure Materials for the Semiconductor Industry

Published - Mar 2003| Analyst - Pat Wier| Code - SMC021C
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Report Highlights

  • Chip complexity, smaller feature sizes, number of devices produced, and a boom in new chipmaking fab construction have combined to cause demand for ultrapure materials to surge over the last few years. The U.S. value of these materials is projected to reach about $1.8 billion in 2002 and rise to $2.8 billion by the year 2007.
  • Until the efficiencies of technological advances currently in development are realized, some leveling off of average annual growth to about 11.7%, is anticipated.
  • With an estimated U.S. value of $1,144 million in 2002, the chemicals segment is the largest of the three markets for ultrapure materials used in semiconductors and will continue to be so.
  • Demand for integrated circuits, new fabs coming onstream, and use at many points in the semiconductor manufacturing process should sustain an overall average annual growth for chemicals of 12.7% over the next four years.


The semiconductor industry is highly cyclical and subject to significant economic downturns. These adversely affect the market for ultrapure chemicals, water and gases and are characterized by reduced product demand and excess production capacity. After a slump during the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, the semiconductor industry again became robust. As a result, many suppliers of ultrapure chemicals, water and gases for the semiconductor industry doubled their sales in under seven years. But the high-tech crash of the new millennium reshaped the industry, causing consolidation and cut backs. As innovation in chip design continues along with ever deeper integration of computer technology in nearly every device, a solid rebound from the early 2000s’ slump is inevitable. With a newly chastened industry poised to take advantage of its lessons and meet on what promises to be the second wave of demand, suppliers are retooling to meet the new challenges.

The semiconductor industry contains key technologies for any industrialized country, and its output is subject to exhaustive analysis and quantification. However, little comprehensive market information exists on the ultrapure materials used to manufacture semiconductors and related products. This updated BCC technical/market report presents a detailed view of the complexity and dynamic nature of the U.S. market for the ultrapure materials used by the semiconductor industry. It ascertains how growth in this market relates to demand for semiconductors and is influenced by regulatory, technological and economic factors. It also provides the information necessary to evaluate and make projections regarding the U.S. ultrapure materials market.

This in-depth analysis provides information and state-of-the-art technological evaluations for decision making by those involved in the supply of ultrapure chemicals, water or gases to the semiconductor and related industries. It can assist clients in strategic planning, acquisition analysis, technology analysis, commercial development of new products, and analysis of competitors’ strategies, strengths, weaknesses, pricing, market share and profitability.


This report organizes information from diverse sources into a cohesive unit that includes:


  • An overview of the industry
  • The structure of the industry, addressing its competitive aspects, and profiling key companies involved in supplying ultrapure chemicals, water and gases to the semiconductor and related industries
  • An analysis of market demand, identifying major products, applications and technologies, as well as abstracted patents that represent many R&D trends and illustrate areas of company activity
  • Estimates of current and projected U.S. market size for the ultrapure materials considered in this report
  • Reviews of environmental and regulatory issues.



The methodologies used in this report include extensive library research and information from internal BCC files, as well as telephone interviews with trade associations and key representatives from the leading suppliers of ultrapure materials to the semiconductor industry. The report also includes an online search of databases covering existing literature, as well as an evaluation of government statistics, company activities, state-of-the-art technology, and patents. Since this report revises, expands, and updates a previous BCC report (C-152R), it contains some historical and background information. This information conforms to the newer BCC format and the more-focused objectives of this report.

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