(November 10, 2010) — Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased during the third quarter 2010 when compared to second quarter 2010 area shipments according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,489 million square inches during the most recent quarter, a 5% increase from the 2,365 million square inches shipped during the previous quarter. New quarterly total area shipments are 26 percent greater than third quarter 2009 shipments and are at their highest levels ever.

"Silicon shipments continued to experience growth during the most recent quarter,” said Takashi Yamada, chairman of SEMI SMG and general manager of SUMCO. “With the recovery in the semiconductor market, annual wafer shipments will reach a new high in 2010.”

Quarterly silicon area shipment trends
Semiconductor Silicon Shipments* – Millions of Square Inches

Million of Square Inches

  Q3 2009 Q2 2010 Q3 2010
TOTAL 1,972 2,365 2,489
*Shipments are for semiconductor applications only and do not include solar applications

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for semiconductors, which in turn, are vital components of virtually all electronics goods, including computers, telecommunications products, and consumer electronics. The highly engineered thin round disks are produced in various diameters (from 1 to 12") and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductor devices or chips are fabricated. Chip sales showed good growth across all regions in 3Q10, according to the SIA’s latest tally ahead of the group’s annual forecast update — but all signs point to a softer ending to the year. Read more about chip sales in SIA 3Q numbers: Chip sales gliding in to growth forecasts

All data cited in this release is inclusive of polished silicon wafers, including virgin test wafers, epitaxial silicon wafers, and non-polished silicon wafers shipped by the wafer manufacturers to the end-users.

The Silicon Manufacturers Group acts as an independent special interest group within the SEMI structure and is open to SEMI members involved in manufacturing polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon or silicon wafers (e.g., as cut, polished, epi, etc.). The purpose of the group is to facilitate collective efforts on issues related to the silicon industry including the development of market information and statistics about the silicon industry and the semiconductor market.

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. For more information, visit

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