Global silicon wafer shipments set to bounce back: SEMI

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 13

Global silicon wafer shipments are expected to return to stable growth next year, increasing 6 percent from this year, after consolidation over the previous two years, a research report said yesterday.

In the report, the global industry association SEMI forecast that the volume of silicon wafer shipments in the global market would rise from an estimated 8.9 billion square inches this year to 9.4 billion square inches next year.

SEMI said the steady growth of shipments is expected to continue into 2014, with total shipments likely to show a 6 percent annual increase to 9.97 billion square inches.

Global silicon wafer shipments hit a record high of 9.12 billion square inches in 2010, up 39 percent from a year earlier, but the figure last year fell 3 percent from the previous year to 8.81 billion square inches, according to the SEMI report.

SEMI forecasts that global silicon wafer shipments for this year will rise 1 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, the overall production value of the global integrated circuit market is expected to fall 1 percent this year, according to a report released by market advisory firm IC Insights.

However, nine product categories, in particular chips used in the telecoms industry, are likely to post an increase in output, the report said.

Wired telecoms-application-specific analogue integrated chips, wired telecoms-special-purpose logic integrated chips and wireless telecoms-special-purpose logic integrated chips will lead the way in output growth this year in the nine product categories, the firm said.

The output of wired telecoms-application-specific chips is expected to grow 25 percent this year, while production value of wired telecoms-special-purpose logic chips is forecast to grow 21 percent, the firm said.

The production value of wireless telecoms-special-purpose logic chips this year is expected to show an annual increase of 17 percent, driven by the popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, IC Insights said.

Boosted by demand for smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks, ouput of display driver integrated chips is expected to grow 2 percent this year, IC Insights said.