SAN FRANCISCO -- The current semiconductor downturn caused some surprising results in terms of market share for lithography vendors in 2001. This included Canon Inc.'s move to surpass ASML Holding N.V. as the world's second largest lithography vendor last year, according to combined estimates from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. here and VLSI Research Inc. in San Jose.
In terms of worldwide exposure tool shipments for IC production in 2001, Japan's Nikon Corp. remained the world's largest semiconductor lithography supplier, followed by Canon of Japan, ASML of the Netherlands, and Ultratech Stepper Inc. of the United States, according to the estimates, which were issued by Morgan Stanley based on data from VLSI Research.
But ASML is poised to leap ahead of its Japanese rivals and become the world's largest lithography vendor in terms of unit shipments in 2002, said Morgan Stanley analysts. This forecast includes tools for IC production only and excludes exposure systems for flat-panel display manufacturing, it was noted.
In total, worldwide shipments of lithography tools fell 34.7% last year to 805 systems in 2001 from 1,232 systems in 2000, according to the new estimates. In 2002, worldwide tool shipments are expected to drop by 24% to 612 units, according to the new forecast.
In total, Nikon's worldwide market share jumped from 35% in 2000 to 41% in 2001, according to the estimates. Nikon delivered a total of 434 tools for chip production in calendar 2000, but its 2001 shipments dropped 24% to 330 tools, according to the report's estimates.
The surprise of the year was Japanese rival Canon, which jumped from third to second place in terms of market share last year. In total, the company's worldwide market share jumped from 23% in 2000 to 31% in 2001, according to the new estimates.
Canon also delivered a total of 284 tools for chip production in 2000, but its shipments of IC tools were estimated at 250 units in 2001, a drop of 12%, according to the report.
While both Nikon and Canon gained market share in 2001, the two companies also benefited from a surge in shipments during the first quarter of 2001, said analyst Steven Pelayo, who tracks the chip-equipment business for Morgan Stanley in San Francisco. "Canon had a great year," Pelayo said. "But Japan's F4Q ending March 2001 impacted the share shifts in calendar 2001," he said.
Canon reports its year-ended numbers on a calendar year. Nikon, which reports its year-ended numbers in March 30, 2001, was able to ship a significant number of tools in its fourth fiscal quarter last year--just at the end of the semiconductor boom cycle and the beginning of the current downturn, according to the analysts.
Meanwhile, ASML's worldwide market share fell from 29% in 2000, to 24% in 2000, according to the estimates. Its worldwide tool shipments fell 47% last year, from 362 units in 2000, to 192 in 2001, due to the downturn.
The figures also included systems from Silicon Valley Group Inc., which was acquired by ASML for $1.6 billion in stock last year.
Ultratech was in fourth place, as its market share dropped from 6% in 2000, to 4% in 2001, according to the estimates. The U.S. company shipped 77 tools in 2000, but delivered 33 system last year, according to the figures.
In 2002, however, ASML is expected to rebound and become the leader in the lithography market with 33% share, according to the estimates. In total, ASML is projected to ship 204 tools in 2002, a 6% increase over 2001, the new report said.
"Based on design wins at Intel, IBM, TI, Infineon, Sony, Dongbu, and SMIC, I think ASML will gain share and become No.1 in both dollars and units in 2002 or 2003," Pelayo said. "I think ASML will gain No.1 market share in 2003, as for achieving that in 2002, it depends on how much Nikon and Canon fall off," he said.
Based on the current outlook, Nikon is expected to fall to No.2 with a 31% share in 2002, according to the report. The company is expected to ship 190 tools in 2002, a 42.4% drop over 2001, according to the estimates.
Canon is projected to fall back to third place with a 29% share in 2002. The company is projected to ship 180 tools in 2002, a 28% decline from 2001, said the report.
Ultratech's share will jump to 6% in 2002, as the company will ship 38 tools this year, according to the new outlook report.