Silicon wafer shipments up sequentially, down 11% Y/Y in Q1 2012

May 8, 2012 — Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased slightly during Q1 2012 when compared to Q4 2011 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 2,033 million square inches during the most recent quarter, a 1% increase from the 2,009 million square inches shipped in Q4 2011. New quarterly total area shipments are 11% below Q1 2011 shipments.

"The first quarter of the year tends to be a time for seasonal softness for silicon shipment volume, though quarterly shipments did improve some compared to the fourth quarter,” said Dr. Bruce Kellerman, chairman of SEMI SMG and senior director of Semiconductor Product Marketing at MEMC. “With modest growth forecasted for the semiconductor industry in 2012, we are optimistic that positive momentum will continue for silicon shipments.” Also read: Silicon wafer revenues increased, shipments tapered in 2011

Table. Quarterly Silicon Area Shipment Trends. Semiconductor Silicon Shipments (*Shipments are for semiconductor applications only and do not include solar applications).


Million of Square Inches


Q1 2011

Q4 2011

Q1 2012





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 one inch to 12 inches) and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductor devices or "chips" are fabricated.

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 aglobal industry association serving the nano- and microelectronics manufacturing supply chains. For more information, visit

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