August 24, 2004 – Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased 6% sequentially in the 2Q04 and 27% from the 2Q03, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.
Total silicon wafer area shipments were 1,619 million square inches during the most recent quarter, up from 1,529 million square inches in shipments reported during the previous quarter (retroactively corrected from the reported first quarter 2004 volumes of 1,514 million square inches).
Silicon revenues also experienced double-digit growth from 1Q04 and 2Q03 (up 11% and 24%, respectively) as a result of increased prices, greater 300mm sales and overall demand.
“The silicon industry is experiencing robust growth, as capacity utilization tightens. The industry’s utilization has increased significantly over the past year, exceeding 95% in the second quarter. Prices are improving, and 300mm is a contributing factor in the product mix,” said John Kaufmann, VP of marketing for MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. and chairman of SEMI SMG.
“The silicon industry must continue to adhere to a healthy business model in order to reap the benefits of solid financial returns for future investments. Currently, capital expenditures for the industry are running below 20%, as the industry balances incremental capacity increases with growing demand. Productivity is stronger on a revenue per employee basis, as the industry produces greater volumes with a negligible increase in headcount by optimizing efficiency gains,” he said.