New installed wafer capacity leader: Taiwan took over in 2011

January 16, 2012 — Taiwan became the region with the largest share of installed wafer capacity in 2011, according to IC Insights’ Global Wafer Capacity 2011-12 report. This is the first time Taiwan has led the global wafer capacity rankings, with 21% of total in mid-2011.

Each regional number is the total installed monthly capacity of semiconductor fabs in that region, regardless of the headquarters location for the companies that own the fabs.

Top 5 regions, installed wafer processing capacity:

  1. Taiwan: 21%
  2. Japan: 19.7%
  3. Korea: 16.8%
  4. The Americas: 14.7%
  5. China: 8.9%

Figure. Installed wafer fab capacity (K w/m) in global regions (based on where the capacity is installed, not where the parent company is headquartered), July 2011.

Note: Rest of world (ROW) is primarily Singapore, Israel, Malaysia, also including Russia, Belarus, India, South Africa, and Australia.

Taiwan is not only the largest wafer processing region, but it also has the largest share of 300mm capacity.  In 2011, Taiwan held 25.4% share of worldwide 300mm wafer capacity, 18.7% of 200mm wafer capacity, and 11.4% of 150mm wafer capacity. 300mm wafers represent 64.6% of the country’s installed capacity; 200mm wafers are 29.2%; 150mm wafers accounted for 6.1%.

Taiwan also leads the industry with capacity dedicated to "not so leading-edge" 40nm-60nm process geometries. Taiwan focuses on providing foundry services to various fabless IC suppliers, fab-lite IDMs, and electronic system producers.

Taiwan re-elected its leader Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) for a second term this week. Ma is not expected to make any major economic and regulatory reforms, according to the US-Taiwan Business Council.

IC Insights also notes in the research that China accounts for more wafer capacity than all of Europe. Nearly all of the installed wafer fab capacity (80%+) is in the top 5 regions.

Also read: Semiconductor fab capex forecast for 2012

Detailed analysis and a forecast of the IC industry’s wafer fab capacity through 2016 is provided in the 2011-12 edition of IC Insights’ Global Wafer Capacity report.

Published in November 2011, the Global Wafer Capacity 2011-2012 report features IC wafer capacity analyses and forecasts through 2016. View for more information. IC Insights Inc. provides high-quality, cost-effective market research for the semiconductor industry.

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