March 6, 2001–Scottsdale, Arizona–Cahners In-Stat market researchers report that while the overall semiconductor industry grew by 36.8% in 2000, leading foundries experienced a faster growth rates in the 60 to 125% range.
Satisfying the approximately 500 to 600 fabless chip start-ups that have emerged during the last decade will require foundries to produce more of the world’s chips during this decade. “While the semiconductor braces for much slower growth in 2001, the foundry segment is expected to outperform the industry as a whole, with foundry revenues expected to rise from $7.6 billion in 1999 to $35.4 billion in 2004,” says Steve Cullen, director of In-Stat’s Semiconductor Service.
In-Stat determined that both integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and OEMs are shifting more of their manufacturing to third party foundries, while others are even converting older fabs into foundries. “With several fabless chipmakers leaping into manufacturing, the industry’s well-defined functional segmentation lines are becoming blurred,” Cullen says. “Foundries will have a major impact on the new hybrid semiconductor development strategy.”
The market researchers predict that the “Big Three” foundries will continue to add capacity at record levels, while second- and third-tier foundry start-ups will come onto the scene this year. In-Stats also expects foundries to continue to push their advanced process technologies ahead of the IDMs, and also lead the transition to 300mm.