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© SEMI Analysis | January 27, 2021

China now tops the Americas and Japan in IC capacity

When it comes to worldwide IC wafer capacity a lot has happened over the years. Back in 2012 for example, China was ranked fifth among seven regions globally in regards to IC wafer capacity – now it holds the number three position.

In a blogpost by Christian G. Dieseldorff, senior principal analyst in the Industry Research and Analysis group at SEMI, it becomes clear that China not only passed the Americas in 2018, and Japan in 2019 in regards to IC wafer capacity, it actually surged passed them, and is continuing on that trajectory. And as Mr. Dieseldorff puts it, “that’s a big deal given that ICs account for the largest share of wafer capacity excluding discrete, opto, MEMS and sensors.” China’s IC wafer capacity growth has been accelerating for a number of years, by 14% in 2019, 21% in 2020 and it is expected to grow at at least 17% this year, as SEMI detailed in its latest latest update of the World Fab Forecast, published December. In comparison, out of all regions, Taiwan boasts the second strongest growth rate over the same period at 3% to 4%. SEMI’s data show that from 2019 through the end of the current year, China will have increased its wafer capacity for memory by 95%, foundry by 47% and analog by 29%. According to SEMI, foundry will be representing the largest portion of those gains with 2 million wafers per month (20mm equivalents), memory follows with about 1.5 million wafers per month and then analog at more than 120’000 wafers per month. However, as Mr. Dieseldorff points out this is not something that is done on an entirely domestic level. Many international companies are contributing to the country’s increasing wafer capacity which becomes visible in the figure below.
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October 14 2021 5:14 pm V18.25.1-1