Wafer shipments forecast to increase in 2017, 2018 and 2019

SEMI recently completed its annual silicon shipment forecast for the semiconductor industry. This SEMI forecast provides an outlook for the demand in silicon units for the period 2017–2019. The SEMI forecast shows polished and epitaxial silicon shipments totaling 11,448 million square inches in 2017; 11,814 million square inches in 2018; and 12,235 million square inches in 2019 (refer to table below). Total wafer shipments this year are expected to exceed the market high set in 2016 and are forecast to continue shipping at record levels in 2018 and 2019.

“Silicon shipment volumes are expected to ship at historic highs for this year and into 2019,” said Dan Tracy, senior director of Industry Research & Statistics at SEMI. “The expectation is for steady annual growth due to the proliferation of connected devices required for automotive, medical, wearables, and high-performance computing applications.”

2017 Silicon Shipment Forecast
(Millions of Square Inches, MSI)

Actual
Forecast
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
MSI
10,269
10,577
11,448
11,814
12,235
Annual Growth
4.5%
3.0%
8.2%
3.2%
3.6%

Total Electronic Grade Silicon Slices* – Does not Include Non-Polished Wafers
Source: SEMI (www.semi.org), October 2017
*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 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 and epitaxial silicon wafers shipped by the wafer manufacturers to the end-users. Data do not include non-polished or reclaimed wafers.

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