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© Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. Electronics Production | March 07, 2011

Only 10 'Real' players in 300mm wafer capacity space

Semiconductor industry capital spending is becoming more concentrated, with a greater percentage of spending coming from a shrinking number of companies. As a result, IC industry capacity is also becoming more concentrated, and this trend is especially prevalent in 300mm wafer technology.
To determine which companies are most likely to come out on top of the dwindling group of leading-edge IC manufacturers, IC Insights created a “Power” Rating combining each company’s rank in 300mm wafer capacity and its rank in capital spending.

While the details behind the Power rating are provided in IC Insights’ Global Wafer Capacity 2010-11 report, it basically states that the lower the combined value of the capacity and capital spending ranks, the more likely a company is to be a significant player in future 3 00mm capacity additions.

Capital-spending ability plays a huge role in determining whether a company can install significant amounts of 300mm capacity. Although GlobalFoundries ranked 10th in 300mm capacity in 2010, the company landed three spots higher at 7th in the “Power” ranking, the biggest jump of any of the top 10 companies.

TSMC is another top-10 company to show a higher “Power” rank than its installed capacity rank (3rd versus 5th, respectively). These two foundries are getting a boost from their currently aggressive capital spending plans and are very likely to add a significant amount of 300mm capacity over the next few years.

Overall, IC Insights believes that the top-10 companies in the “Power” ranking will be the primary drivers in adding capacity over the next few years. Among the companies ranked 11 through 22 are five that are moving to or continuing with a fab-lite strategy—Renesas, IBM, TI, ST, and Fujitsu.

© IC Insights

Even though TI and ST are adding some 300mm capacity for analog ICs, these five companies are essentially out of the running for adding large blocks of new 300mm capacity in the future. The others in the 11-to-22 group are mostly limited by funding availability (e.g., Powerchip, SMIC, ProMOS, Winbond, and Xinxin) or by a lack of desire (e.g., Rohm and Panasonic) to add significant amounts of 300mm capacity to produce leading-edge digital ICs.

With only about 10 “real” players in the 300mm capacity space, the customer base for leading-edge IC production equipment has become very narrow.In IC Insights’ opinion, leading-edge IC equipment and materials suppliers must now strive to make these 10 companies a high-priority in their marketing strategies if they want to be successful over the next 5-10 years.
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