Semiconductor wafer fab utilization rates bucked expectations in late 2011

March 29, 2012 — The Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) released its GSA Q1 Wafer Fabrication & Back-End Pricing Reports, tracking fab utilization rates, wafer and mask costs, and package pricing.

GSA found that semiconductor fab utilization rates actually went up in Q4 2011, not down as expected.

The median pricing for 200mm production CMOS wafers decreased by 4.1% from Q3 2011 to Q4 (Q/Q). 300mm wafers saw 3.6% price drop in the same period.

The median mask set cost for 300mm CMOS wafers decreased Q/Q at a rate of 24.3%, but increased at a rate of 3.9% from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011 (Y/Y)

In Q3 2011, 20% of participants in the survey reported using an integrated device manufacturer (IDM). In Q4, this dropped to just 6.6%.

The median cost of only one package type increased Q/Q: xQFP packages with 65-128 leads saw a 16.42% price hike.

GSA’s Q1 2012 Wafer Fabrication & Back-End Pricing Reports include written analysis, a downloadable MS Access database and interactive online results. Access them at

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