Gartner Dataquest predicts expanding demand for chips

Dec. 20, 2002 – San Jose, CA – Silicon wafer demand will begin a major expansion between the second half of 2003 and 2004, as it will be driven by a combination of a recovery of device demand and the startup of 300mm fabs, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc.

Gartner Dataquest analysts said there will be some delays in 300mm fab projects because of feared cutbacks of capital spending by semiconductor vendors. However, there will be increased demand in the second half of 2003.

“At present, 300mm wafer demand is estimated at approximately 200,000 wafers per month. It will grow rapidly with the reinvigoration of 300mm fab projects and is expected to reach a level of 440,000-450,000 wafers per month in the fourth quarter of 2003,” said Takashi Ogawa, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest’s semiconductor manufacturing research group. “Coupled with the 300mm wafer demand ramp-up, total silicon demand will expand appreciably at the annualized pace of 23 percent in 2004.”

Fab capacity is expected to move to the Asia/Pacific region at an accelerated pace, and the region will hold a larger share of wafer demand in the world market. In contrast, Japan will lose share because of the continued relocation of electronics production, the increased use of foundry services, and consolidation of local semiconductor operations.

“Leading Japanese vendors, such as Elpida and Toshiba, recently announced their intent to invest in 300mm fabs,” Ogawa said. “While the regional shift of fab capacity is an irreversible megatrend at this moment, it’s worth watching how 300mm fab projects of Japanese vendors will affect the regional distribution of wafer demand in the future.”


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