Semiconductor growth in APAC region demand for Scanning Electron Microscopy Technique

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) uses accelerated electron beam to create a magnified image displaying information about chemical as well as physical composition of the object. These microscopes have capability to magnify a sample up to 500,000 times from its normal size. One of the major applications of SEM in semiconductor industry is to identify and evaluate the critical dimensions of printed patterns on a silicon wafer. Today’s edge-cutting technology has paved the path for the introduction of small-structured materials and products such as integrated circuits (ICs) in this industry.

Spurring development of complex and miniaturized semiconductor product has transformed the competitiveness of manufacturers in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. According to Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), year-to-year sales increase for Japan is 15.8% for month of May, 2017. China’s motive of the highest performance products at the lowest cost in contrast with Korea’s rapidly changing consumer preference has significantly affected the semiconductor industry in Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. China’s IC design industry is considered to be among the fastest growing segment in China’s semiconductor industry. In 2015, China’s wafer fabrication and manufacturing plants increased to 169 units. This increasing establishment plants required more number of testing and analysis with devices based on Scanning Electron Microscope and other advanced imaging technique.

Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are other countries which are evolving the IC industry in terms of technology as well as innovative products. Huge investments in R&D along implementation of new policies in Japan have rapidly taken off IC industry in the past few years. According to World Semiconductor Trade Statics (WSTS), Japanese semiconductor sales account around 10% of the global sales in 2015. Similarly, presence of global leader of chipmaker in Taiwan such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp. have increased the need for testing and analyzing instruments in this industry. Thus, need of advanced and sensitive imaging devices in IC industry have driven the growth of APAC’s SEM market.

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