February 24, 2005 – Wafer fab capacity inched up 0.8% from 3Q04 to 1.4664 million wafer starts/week in 4Q04, a 9.4% increase from a year ago, according to industry data released by the Semiconductor International Capacity Statistics (SICAS) in Vessem, The Netherlands.
Total IC capacity utilization rates decreased from 92.5% in 3Q04 to 86.0% in 4Q04, the lowest level in six quarters. Overall foundry utilization dropped from 97.7% to 81.5%, its lowest level in eight quarters.
Utilization rates for leading-edge technology (processes <0.16 microns) remained high at 93.2%, down from a peak of 99% reached in 1Q04, with capacity growing 45.7% year-on-year to 0.5056 million wafer starts/week.
Capacity for 300mm wafer starts/week (calculated as 200mm equivalent) increased 20.6% from 3Q04 to 0.1636 million wafer starts/week, while 300mm utilization dropped from 86.4% to 73.5%.