Semiconductor manufacturing relies on laser techniques for a range of applications. Manufacturers are relying so heavily on lasers that the market is expected to grow by a 15% compound annual growth rate by 2022. This technology adds value across the development lifecycle, and demand has grown thanks to this diversity. Lasers can cut, drill, bond, pattern, and measure. They improve die quality, work with transparent materials, and increase yield. Diode lasers represent almost half of the market, which has grown partly to fulfill the EU’s RoHS Directive.
The Power of Light
Laser diodes and optical isolators work together to transmit light in only one direction, blocking return beams. Shin Etsu’s Liquid Phase Epitaxy Method is unique for cutting out lead waste entirely. They expect to use more KrF excimer lasers in future, too, and already have two production bases for this section of the market.
Fiber lasers are booming, but the revenue growth will only be as robust as its cost structure. The diodes boom may end in a bubble as a result of rivalry over prices. They’re not a perfect solution if they’re implemented with a sub-par financial strategy, so a few contenders have experienced slight revenue dips. Those who profited best had one thing in common: Their laser products were diverse and served a number of different industries. Some have already seen a 15% revenue growth in response.
Fiber vs. CO2
CO2 laser cutting has established itself as a fair alternative. It can achieve laser pulses that are 10 times longer than those of fiber. Some materials respond better to them, and they’re more economical than many other options.
Optical storage remains the strongest niche in the laser sector, but its growth is only a fraction of that of diodes. Fiber systems are efficient enough to overtake CO2 systems, and their transmission costs are surprisingly low.