Glass for semiconductors: many applications, few players

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“Today, the scope for applications using glass substrates in the semiconductor field is broad and highly diversified.” asserts Amandine Pizzagalli, formerly Technology & Market Analyst, Semiconductor Manufacturing at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group and today Finance Project Manager at Yole Finance, part of Yole. She adds:“Nowadays, the number of glass vendors able to deliver wafers and panels with the specifications the industry needs is quite limited”.
The top two players, Schott and Corning, are still leading the glass material market. For the last few years, they held more than 60% of the total glass wafer market. Other glass raw material and glass wafer processors vendors such as NEG, AGC, PlanOptik and Tecnisco have captured share in this market.

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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Thematic(s) :

In this context, the market research and strategy consulting company investigates disruptive semiconductor manufacturing technologies and related markets to point out the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities.
The Glass Substrate for Semiconductor Applications report delivers a comprehensive overview of the glass substrate industry, for semiconductor applications. It also details the status of the glass material, the substrate industry, and its evolution. Including market trends, and forecasts, supply chain, technology trends, competitive landscape, key technical insights, roadmaps, applications, this study describes the status of glass material adoption and the various type of glass materials available on the market.

What is the status of the glass industry for semiconductor applications? What are the economic and technological challenges? What are the key drivers? And who are the major key glass material suppliers?
Yole presents today the status of the glass substrates industry.

According to Amandine Pizzagalli in “The rise of the glass market in the semiconductor field” article published today on i-Micronews: “Glass material can support various functionalities within IC devices in the semiconductor field, such as MEMS actuators & Sensors, CIS, memory and logic, RF, power electronics, photonics, microfluidics devices as well as the FO WLP technology platform”. Discover the full article.
Given what has been said, as explored by the analyst in the Glass Substrate for Semiconductor Applications report: NEG’s market share and business is coming from the FO WLP market since it is the leading supplier of TSMC for the inFO product. Planoptik’s revenues account for most of the business for glass carriers for power applications due to its relationship with Infineon in actuator MEMS pressure sensors using WLCapping.
Indeed, as said by Favier Shoo, Team Lead Analyst in the Packaging team within Semiconductor, Memory and Computing Division at Yole in the Fan-Out Packaging Technologies and Market 2020 report: “In Fan-Out Packaging processing, substrate carrier is mandatory for handling bowed wafer or panel for temporary bonding and processing for both FO-WLP and FO-PLP . Today there are three main types of carrier used for Fan-Out Packaging: glass, ceramic, and metal. At the moment, glass has undoubtedly emerged as the main substrate carrier. Glass carrier is used by the majority of Fan-Out Packaging players, including TSMC which manufactures high-volume InFO”. 
Although Corning and AGC are strongly active in the RF front-end and connectivity industries with their borosilicate products, the RF industry is also evaluating photosensitive glass material mostly offered by 3D glass solutions. Its solution could be an alternative solution for RF high frequency applications due to high thermal performance combined with low-cost manufacturing.
There are still business opportunities in this immature market that are not well established, explains Yole in its glass substrates report. Indeed, they could reshuffle the ranking by inviting specialized glass vendors with well-honed expertise in specific applications to enter.
Without doubt, the level of performance and the cost will determine the winner.

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