Silicon Wafers High Growth Now Uncertain

Excess inventory causing concerns and upturn in orders not yet realized

San Diego, CA, June 20, 2024:  TECHCET — the advisory firm providing materials market information for semiconductor supply chain resilience — previously forecasting a 6% increase for Silicon Wafers in 2024, is now seeing a hurdle to growth. “Excess inventory of silicon wafers held by chip makers over the past 9 months has been surprising everyone,” stated Lita Shon-Roy, TECHCET’s CEO/President. SOI Wafers, although not immune to this trend, are less likely to be impacted in the same way. Revenue and shipment growth for 2024 is currently unclear. However, shipments will undoubtedly be less than overall wafer starts (chip production) experienced by device fabricators. For more details, check out TECHCET’s new Critical Materials Report on Silicon Wafers here: https://techcet.com/product/silicon-wafers/.

Utilization rates have been down but are expected to rise over the next two quarters. “Regardless, prices for 300mm wafers are trending upward generally as the result of LTAs,” states Mike Walden, Senior Director at TECHCET. Meanwhile, there is concern about potential oversupply for 200mm wafers, primarily because China-based suppliers continue to increase output. Additionally, one leading supplier has decided to discontinue production of wafers 150mm in diameter and smaller by 2025, based upon evolution within the wafer market.

Trade tensions between China and the US are continuing to escalate, which may have profound implications on the semiconductor market and the silicon wafer industry. For instance, the China market may eventually be lost as they continue to push hard to create a self-sufficient silicon wafer industry. Foreign (non-China) wafer makers will eventually get pushed out of the China market by these domestic sources. This is already happening with 200mm wafers and is likely to happen with 300mm wafers as China becomes more successful at 300mm silicon wafer production, perhaps in another 3-5 years. NSIG’s Zing Semiconductor is investing over $1.8B to double its capacity, targeting an eventual output of 1.2M 300mm wafers per month, a clear indication of the potential shift in the market dynamics.

The newly released TECHCET Critical Materials Reports™ on Silicon Wafers contains details on market and technology trends and supplier profiles. For the full table of contents or to request a sample report, visit https://techcet.com/product/silicon-wafers/. All new report purchases made by July 15 include free Advisory Alert Webinar access.

ABOUT TECHCET: TECHCET CA LLC is an advisory services firm expert in market and supply-chain analysis of electronic materials for the semiconductor, display, solar/PV, and LED industries. TECHCET offers consulting, subscription service, and reports, including the Critical Materials Council (CMC) of semiconductor fabricators and Data Subscription Service (DSS). For additional information, please email us here, call +1-480-332-8336, or go to www.techcet.com.