Applied set to replace ASML as top chip manufacturing equipment vendor

November 29, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Applied set to replace ASML as top chip manufacturing equipment vendor
Applied Materials will be the leading vendor of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in 2020, displacing lithography equipment vendor ASML Holding NV, according to industry analyst Robert Castellano.

Castellano is estimating wafer manufacturing front end (WFE) equipment. ASML, the monopoly supplier of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment, topped the ranking in 2018 and 2019 that Applied had led from 1990 to 2019.

A report prepared by Castellano for his The Information Network, observes that ASML had a lacklustre 1Q20 when its quarter-on-quarter revenue growth decreased 31 percent and this was largely responsible to the company losing market share to Applied Materials for 2020.

Castellano forecasts that Applied will increase its market share to 18.8 percent in 2020 from 15.9 percent in 2019. ASML, which held a 16.9 percent share in 2019, will drop slightly to a 16.8 percent share in 2020.

Top five chip manufacturing equipment vendors sales 2015 to 2020 ($ millions). Source: The Information Network.

Other vendors in the top five include Lam Research, with expertise in deposition and etch, Tokyo Electron (TEL) in deposition and etch and KLA in metrology and inspection.

Lam's market share will increase to 11.8 percent in 2020 from 10.6 percent in 2019, due to the company's exposure to memory, and in particular NAND, which is being impacted by low ASPs and high inventory overhang.

TEL is set to gain share and grow to 13.4 percent of the market in 2020 from 11.7 percent in 2019. KLA's market share will increase to 6.8 percent in 2020 from 5.4 percent in 2019.

Overall the WFE market in 2020 is set to be $64 billion. The top five companies will have gained market share in 2020, while smaller competitors as a whole will decrease market share of the overall market from 39.6 percent in 2019 to 33.4 percent in 2020, Castellano states.

Capex spend is expected to grow in 2021 for both memory and logic/foundry companies and will be aided by lessening of trade tension between the US and China, and as TSMC and Samsung prepare to for sub-5nm manufacturing process nodes. Particular beneficiaries of the economic climate in 2021 are set to be ASML, Applied and Lam Research, Castellano said.

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