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Electronics Production | April 09, 2009

Fear for semiconductor shortage

Malcolm Penn of Future Horizons fear capacity shortages on the semiconductor market.
Since mid 2007, the semiconductor industry's investment in new equipment has been very limited. According to Malcolm Penn there is now a reduction seen in the semiconductor industry's capacity in the fabs for MOS components. The world's total production capacity fell from third to fourth quarter 2008 by 1.7 percent, compared with 1.3 percent increase over the corresponding period in 2007. The decrease was greatest for production on 200 mm wafers and smaller sizes. The decrease is believed to continue.

Utilization rate fell from 87.5 to 69.5 percent, from third to fourth quarter 2008. During the fourth quarter of 2007, capacity utilization rate was 90.7 percent, according to Elektronik i Norden.

Penn believes that the net increase in capacity is likely to be marginal until the third quarter 2010. If the demand for semiconductors takes off, capacity limits may soon be reached. The semiconductor industry's investment in equipment is estimated for 2009 to 20 billion dollars. This is just one third of those in 2000.

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