Over the next five years, Taiwan is expected to become the second-largest investor worldwide in advanced 12-inch wafer fabs, SEMI, a California-based association that represents the global semiconductor sector, said yesterday.
The nation is forecast to invest US$14 billion to US$17 billion in 12-inch wafer manufacturing facilities from this year to 2024, trailing only South Korea, which is forecast to invest US$15 billion to US$19 billion, the association said.
Local semiconductor companies are expected to build 11 of the fabs during that period, it added.
Thirty-eight of the fabs are to be added worldwide — for a total of 161 — while monthly production capacity is expected to increase by about 1.8 million units to more than 7 million, the association said.
With an investment of US$11 billion to US$13 billion over five years, China would be third, it said.
China is eager to develop its own semiconductor industry and after major investment, it is expected to account for 20 percent of global production capacity by 2024, up from 8 percent in 2015, it added.
China is expected to construct eight 12-inch wafer fabs over the next five years, increasing its monthly production capacity to 1.5 million units, it said.
Global investment in 12-inch wafer fabs this year is expected to increase 13 percent, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and an additional 4 percent next year, SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told reporters.
The pandemic has increased demand for chips used in devices such as cloud-based services, servers, notebook computers, and gaming consoles, as well as 5G, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence applications, he said.
The level of investment in the semiconductor industry is a good foundation for the development of advanced technologies, he said.
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