Semiconductor Wafers Supply-Chain Critically Tight

Threat of Shortages Increasing

San Diego, CA, April 7, 2022:  TECHCET—the electronic materials advisory firm providing business and technology information— announced the Silicon Wafer market, including SOI wafers, will increase more than 10% in 2022 to top US$15.5 billion, up 14.8% from 2021. Strong overall demand and higher pricing related to increasing raw material and energy costs are driving up revenues. This will be the first time in over a decade that the wafer market will see two consecutive years of double-digit growth.

As with other semiconductor materials, supply of Silicon Wafers is tight, and lead-times are increasing. There is no excess capacity in the market – 300 mm wafering capacity is on the order of 7,200 wafers per month (wpm), which is approximately equal to the projected demand for this year. However, Silicon Wafers are specialized to customer specifications and device requirements, so capacity constraints vary from customer to customer depending on product mix, as well as volume demand.

Debottlenecking and some brownfield expansions are ongoing. This may partially alleviate the current supply constraints; however, such manufacturing capacity growth will not be enough to satisfy projected wafer demand in 2022 and 2023. Some wafer suppliers have stated current manufacturing cannot fully support demand, so customers will be on allocation.

With this context provided, the major wafer suppliers, like Shin-Etsu Handotai (SEH), SUMCO, GlobalWafers, Siltronic, and SK Siltron, have indicated that they will invest in greenfield plants to further boost wafering capacity. It will take time, 2-3 years, for plants to be constructed and equipped so production from new greenfield plants will not contribute to wafer output until 2024. Until then, supply will be tight causing prices to increase. Raw material and energy costs are also on the rise, adding to the upward price pressure.

The oncoming wafer shortage will create an opportunity for newcomers – emerging 300 mm wafer suppliers in China, like Zing Semiconductor, could help fill some of the demand if they are able to meet qualification standards for 300 mm production wafers as well as test/monitor wafers.

For more details on the Silicon Wafer Target market segments and growth trajectory go to:
https://techcet.com/product/silicon-wafers/

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ABOUT TECHCET:  TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm focused on process materials supply-chains, electronic materials business, and materials market analysis for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. Since 2000, the company has been responsible for producing the Critical Material Reports™, covering silicon wafers, semiconductor gases, wet chemicals, CMP consumables, Photoresists, and ALD/CVD Precursors. The Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators is a business service offered by TECHCET, and includes materials supplier Associate Members. For additional information about reports, market briefings, CMC membership, or custom consulting please contact info@cmcfabs.org, +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.