Chipmakers turn to more complex chemicals

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The migration to ever smaller chip sizes is necessitating an increased use of more complex chemicals in the semiconductor fabrication process, experts reported today..

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan predicts that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.7 percent from 2006 to 2013.

While the size of silicon wafers increases from 200mm to 300mm in diameter, the size of many chips is being reduced to 45nm.

As a result, an increased number of processing steps is creating a demand for higher quality and newer types of electronic materials and chemicals.

For example, the study points to increasing use of high k, ultra low k, photoresist chemicals for AFEL with high index immersion lithography, and high purity wet process chemicals for the new generation microchips.

"New technologies, chemistries and geometries emerging in the fields of semiconductor design and manufacturing have all had a positive impact on the growth of the US electronic chemicals market," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst K. Lakshminarayanan.

"This apart, the growing demand for electronic goods in the end-user market is also lending to the market's growth."
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