5% sequential decline in wafer demand in 1Q, says FSA

The Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA), a semiconductor trade association, has released its 1Q03 Wafer Supply & Demand and Packaging Survey Report which noted a 5% decrease in actual wafers shipped in 1Q03 over 4Q02. Compared to the previous forecast, however, 1Q03 actual wafer demand shipments were 97% of the previous forecast.

The survey participants raised their forecast growth in wafer demand for the remainder of 2003 and all of 2004, which is consistent with prevailing market sentiment.

“The increase in wafer demand for the remaining quarters of 2003 indicates a growing sense of optimism on the part of foundry customers that a market recovery may be around the corner,” said Jim Hines, principal analyst at Gartner Dataquest. “Visibility is limited, but certainly they can be expected to have some idea as to what the next 90 days holds in store.”

The process technology mix for wafers shipped during 1Q03 matched very closely with the forecast produced in the annual survey. The results indicate that the 0.18-micron technology node will be the process most ordered throughout 2003 and into 2004. Forty-one percent of wafer demand used 0.18-micron technology in 1Q03. According to survey results, the ramp-up of 0.13-micron production will continue through 2003 and will increase to 21% of total shipments by 4Q03 and 29% for 2004.


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