Wafer Demand Bullish for 2019

Article By : Matthew Burgess

Despite a decline in spending for leading-edge devices, the latest Semi Global 200mm Fab Outlook prepares for growing demand.

Semi’s latest Global 200mm Fab Outlook has announced that they anticipate a 14% increase in production, with the addition of 700,000 200mm wafers from 2019 to 2022. Semi has reported that the increase will bring their 200mm wafer fab capacity to 6.5 million wafers per month. Many devices have found their optimal configuration with 200mm wafer fabrication which has driven demand from automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and industrial applications.

Projected wafer shipments for MEMS and sensors devices from 2019 to 2022 are expected to increase 25%. Strong 200mm wafer growth can also be viewed across various industry segments as the SEMI Global 200mm Fab Outlook also estimates that shipments for power devices and foundries are to rise 23 % and 18%, respectively. The increases in 200mm fab count and installed capacity reflect continuing 200mm industry strength as it continues to add capacity and even open new fabs.

Wafer 200mm Prediction

To accommodate the growing demand, Semi Global report has added seven new facilities, with 160 updates to 109 fabs, since the last publication in July 2018. Between 2019 and 2022, 16 new facilities or lines, 14 of them volume fabs, are expected to begin operation. The report takes into account both equipment transferred from one fab to another and equipment revitalized after being held in storage, such as for SK Hynix and Samsung.

Across the industry, leading-edge devices such as memory have suffered from sudden changes in investment plans which has triggered a projected double-digit decline in spending in 2019. However, with demand for mature devices using wafers 200mm and smaller stable or evening growing, it would be no surprise to see plans emerge for even more 200mm capacity and new fabs to meet growing demand.

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