SEMI: Wafer demand slowing but still straining supplies

May 16, 2006 – Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased 3% in 1Q06 vs. the prior quarter, and demand has increased nearly 29% from a year ago, but quarter-on-quarter it’s slowed down over the past year, according to new data from SEMI.

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 1884 million sq. in. (MSI) in 1Q06, vs. 1826 MSI in 4Q05 and 1465 MSI in 1Q05. Since early 2005, wafer demand has slowed from 8%-9% quarterly growth to 3%-4% now, but demand is still straining current supplies, noted Tatsuhiko Shigematsu, chairman of SEMI’s Silicon Manufacturers Group and director of technology of SUMCO Corporation.

“Silicon wafer shipments remained strong for all wafer sizes during the first quarter,” he stated, adding that availability of polycrystalline silicon “may become a major constraint in meeting the future wafer demands.”

Quarterly silicon area shipment trends
Silicon shipments in millions of sq. in. (MSI)

[Wafer type] 1Q05, 2Q05, 3Q05, 4Q05, 1Q06

Polished: 1107, 1207, 1304, 1358, 1390
Epitaxial: 1107, 345, 385, 407, 431
Nonpolished: 51, 54, 59, 61, 63
TOTAL: 1465, 1606, 1748, 1826, 1884

Source: SEMI


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