What Makes Glass Wafers a Popular Choice for Semiconductors?

What Makes Glass Wafers a Popular Choice for Semiconductors?

By Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence Blog

The Global Semiconductor Glass Wafer Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.84% over the analyzed period to reach a market size of US$530.472 million in 2026 from US$356.472 million in 2019. Glass wafers are thin precision glass discs that are often composed of borosilicate glass, quartz, or fused silica and are used as a substrate carrier for attaching silicon and other substrates for MEMs (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems). Semiconductor glass wafers are used for a variety of scientific and industrial applications. This glass protects the semiconductor while allowing smooth operation. They are also utilised in display engineering and display glass inspection systems. The screens/displays used in televisions, automobiles, phones, and other electronic gadgets are made out of a "glass stack"—several layers of thin glass, each with a specific function, such as encapsulation glass, a glass TFT (thin-film transistor) backplane and a protective layer. All of these layers work together to create the visuals on the screen.

semiconductor glass wafer market

Rising demand for semiconductors across several industrial verticals is expected to boost the growth of the semiconductor glass wafer market. The widespread adoption of these in electronic segments, together with technical improvement, would significantly contribute to the market's growth. MEMC Electronic Materials, a subsidiary of Taiwanese business GlobalWafers, agreed to spend $210 million in its O'Fallon, Missouri, facility and add 75 jobs as part of the contract to expand U.S. operations in 2021. The primary cause for the expansion of its end-user industries is an increase in disposable income. Furthermore, new emerging requirements in the electronic packaging sector are broadening the scope of the semiconductor glass wafer market. The Internet of Things (IoT)'s debut and expansion is providing a rising market opportunity for semiconductor glass wafers. However, production restrictions and inaccuracy owing to human mistakes have the potential to hinder market expansion. Furthermore, the existence of alternatives, such as silicon, hampers market development.

The Benefits of Using Glass in Semiconductors Will Fuel Market Expansion

Glass can be custom-made to meet the needs of the client. Corning, for instance, provides a diverse array of semiconductor glass in sizes ranging from 3.2ppm/degree Celsius to 12.4ppm/degree Celsius, with the option of resizing as needed by the client. Furthermore, semiconductor glass wafers have a lower thickness and wrap, therefore require less space and reduce yield loss. Furthermore, because glass is transparent, it allows for an effective laser de-bonding procedure. Glass wafers also have several advantages over traditional silicon wafers, such as lower electrical loss, better warp control (thermal expansion/stability and higher stiffness help in decreasing warping), lower cost, and the potential to enhance processes.

The Electronic Industry Will Have a Significant Share in the Market

The semiconductor glass wafer market is divided into three segments based on end-users: electronics, semiconductors, and biotechnology. Due to the increased demand for electronics, the market's electronics end-user is projected to perform well. Semiconductor wafers, such as silicon wafers, are used in the manufacture of chips and microchips in electronic devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, smartwatches, and others. Glass wafers are also used in wafer packing and as a substrate carrier in the industry. Along with its excellent functionality and high durability, it is also utilised in wafer packaging of delicate components, particularly in extreme environments. Technological development and an increase in disposable income have boosted consumer demand for electronic devices, which will drive the market demand for electronic and semiconductor wafer glasses.

Glass wafers are also used in the fabrication of semiconductors as a carrier substrate since they are made of a highly fragile material that may be readily twisted or torn. Despite its fragility and slimness, the glass allows for the safe handling of semiconductors. Because of its high chemical and thermal stability, glass is perfect for the manufacturing of semiconductors. During the predicted period, the growing need for semiconductors will boost the demand for semiconductor glass wafers.

Wafers and wafer glass are also used in the biotechnology sector to make microfluid chips, with the glass acting as a substrate. The glass provides the clear vision required by the biotechnology application, allowing for increased efficiency. Glass wafers are used as a substrate in integrated circuit packaging to improve performance and cost-effectiveness.

The Limitation in Manufacturing and Inaccuracy Caused by Human Error Is Hampering Market Expansion

The primary obstacle to the semiconductor glass wafer industry is manufacturing process limitations. For seamless operation, an efficient semiconductor set needs precision and accuracy in production. Human errors, on the other hand, may affect precision and have an influence on the glass wafer market. Furthermore, robots can be utilised to execute the work, removing the possibility of human errors. However, these robots are expensive, and financial restrictions may limit their adoption. In addition, silicon and metals are good replacements for semiconductor glass wafers. The abundant supply of silicon makes it more accessible, thus limiting the market scope.

During the Forecasted Period, the North American Region Will Show Robust Growth

The Semiconductor Glass Wafer Market, by geography, is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and South America. The North American region is expected to hold a significant share over the projected period due to the faster adoption of technology and the region's cutting-edge infrastructure. The Asia Pacific and Europe are projected to expand at a rapid pace as well. Surging demand for electronic devices will generate considerable market expansion in the Asia Pacific region.

The Impact of the Outbreak of COVID-19 on the Semiconductor Glass Wafer Market

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on almost all industries around the world. Many countries have imposed strict nationwide lockdowns. It has had an impact on both sides of the economy and has caused supply chain disruptions. The global semiconductor glass wafer market was also affected by the coronavirus pandemic. A halt in production by end-user businesses in compliance with the government's lockdown protocolled in a drop in demand for semiconductor glass wafers. Consequently, despite a temporary slowdown, the Semiconductor Glass Wafer Market is expected to grow during the forecast period.