TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced COVID-19 related logistic issues remain, causing increased delivery lead-times and higher logistic costs for targets and metals among other materials. Chip fabricators and sputtering target suppliers both confirm tight supply and long lead-times for Cu/Cu alloy targets, as well as, Cu and Ta Hollow Cathode Magnetron (HCM) targets used in 200 mm Novellus (Lam Research) PVD systems. Longer lead-times for Cu and Cu alloy targets are the result of strong demand for these materials in advanced device fabrication and raw material price increases.
Raw material metal pricing is increasing in a number of segments, such as Cu, Co, Al, and Ta, given the demand increase with an improving global economy. The limited development of new Cu mines, coupled with aging, less productive existing mines, could also put pressure on future pricing as overall demand is forecasted to increase in the coming decades. The pricing for precious metals, such as Ag, Pd, Ru, and Ir has risen as well: Ag and Pd pricing up 40% from the early 2020 baseline and, versus the same baseline, both Ru and Ir experiencing triple-digit price increases.