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Electronics Production | June 28, 2007

Half of Global Fab capacity owned by Top 10 Manufacturers

A brand-new study from IC Insights provides an in-depth examination of the IC industry's installed wafer capacity.

The just-released Global Wafer Capacity and Analysis (2006-2011) study includes rankings of IC manufacturers in terms of total installed capacity, as well as rankings of capacity leaders for each of the various wafer sizes (100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 200mm, 300mm); capacity leaders for leading-edge processes, lagging-edge processes, and mature processes; and capacity leaders by device type (memory, logic, analog, foundry, microcomponent). According to the report, Samsung, TSMC, Intel, Toshiba, and UMC had the five largest shares of the world's capacity at the end of 2006, with combined capacity of just over 2.9 million wafers per month (in 200mm-equivalent wafers). The top-five capacity leaders accounted for 32% of total wafer capacity as of year-end 2006 (Figure 1). At the same time, nearly half (48%) of the world's capacity was represented by the combined capacity of the top-10 leaders. In other words, relatively few companies control a very large portion of the IC industry's supply of wafer fab capacity. Geographically, the top-10 capacity leaders represent a diverse group with three based in Taiwan, two in South Korea, two in the United States, two in Japan, and one in Europe. It is interesting to note that two of the largest capacity holders are the pure-play foundries, TSMC and UMC. IC manufacturing is increasingly becoming a high stakes poker game with enormous up-front costs ($3.0-$3.5 billion for a 300mm wafer fab). With fewer and fewer firms willing and able to make the investment in high-volume state-of-the-art fabs, the pure-play foundries are playing an increasingly vital role in providing the industry with a reliable and consistent supply of wafer fabrication capacity.
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