Semiconductor Photomask Revenues Predicted To Increase In 2021

How the pandemic has impacted the photomask and flat panel display industry.


A majority (72%) of industry luminaries surveyed in July predict an increase in photomask revenues for 2021, as shown in figure 1. SEMI also predicts revenues to increase around 9% from $4.4B in 2020 to $4.8B in 2021. In a 12-minute video, a panel of experts share their perspectives on what’s behind the growth trend, how the pandemic has impacted the photomask industry, and how it compares to the broader IC industry as well as the flat panel display (FPD) segment. Chris Progler, CTO of Photronics, and Mikael Wahlsten, head of pattern generation strategy and development at Mycronic, agree that the growth is supported in part by the increased demand and pricing of photomasks for the mid-range process nodes. Chris notes that the type of upward pressure on pricing today is unprecedented in his 20 years in the industry. On the supplier side, Mikael sees a strong long-term semiconductor forecast for Mycronics’ photomask writers. He sees the demand driven across the board from products at leading-edge nodes to mature nodes as photomask makers go through a phase of investing to modernize their photomask writer fleet.

Fig. 1: Photomask revenue predictions from the eBeam Initiative Luminaries survey in July 2021.

Turning to the FPD market, Mikael explains that the market for photomasks took a hit in the second half of 2020 as the pandemic drove display providers to focus on supplying their existing displays to keep up with the demand of “work-from-home.” Mikael sees R&D spend on a healthy track again with long-term trends for higher display quality, larger TV sizes and the growing importance of displays as product differentiators.

This video is part of a longer panel discussion about the results of the 2021 Luminaries survey at the eBeam Initiative’s annual event during the SPIE Photomask Technology Conference in September 2021. Every year, the eBeam Initiative conducts a survey that provides valuable insight into the key trends that are shaping the semiconductor industry. In July, industry luminaries representing 44 companies from across the semiconductor ecosystem participated in the 2021 eBeam Initiative Luminaries survey. You can watch the entire 82-minute panel video covering the additional topics of EUV, multi-beam mask writers, curvilinear photomasks, and deep learning here.

Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)