February 16, 2006 – Worldwide silicon wafer shipments increased for the fourth straight year in 2005, by about 6%, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG). Wafer revenues grew in 2005 by 8%, slightly ahead of the ~6%-7% rate of the overall IC industry, and finally surpassing levels reached during the 2000 boom.
Silicon wafer area shipments totaled 6654 million sq. inches (MSI) in 2005, up from 6262 MSI in 2004. Shipment growth slowed to about 4% in 4Q05, from high single-digit growth in the previous three quarters, and 22.9% higher than the same period a year ago.
“2005 was a record year for wafer shipments and revenues, with strong growth observed throughout the second half of the year” stated Reijirou Mori, chairman of SEMI SMG and executive advisor to SUMCO Co. Ltd. Supply constraints are a top concern of wafer suppliers heading into 2006-demand for 200mm wafers is exceeding current capacity, he noted-as is tight raw material supply and rising energy costs.