Another record year for silicon wafer shipment volumes in 2015

Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased 3 percent in 2015 when compared to 2014 area shipments according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its year-end analysis of the silicon wafer industry. However, worldwide silicon revenues decreased by 6 percent in 2015 compared to 2014.

Silicon wafer area shipments in 2015 totaled 10,434 million square inches (MSI), up from the previous market high of 10,098 million square inches shipped during 2014. Revenues totaled $7.2 billion down from $7.6 billion posted in 2014. “Semiconductor silicon shipment levels remained strong throughout most of the year, resulting in record volume shipments,” said Dr. Volker Braetsch, chairman SEMI SMG and senior vice oresident of Siltronic AG. “The strength in shipments was not enough to compensate headwinds from further price decline and some exchange rate impact; silicon revenues for the year decreased yet again and are significantly below their market high set in 2007.”

Annual Silicon* Industry Trends

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Area Shipments (MSI)

8,661

8,137

6,707

9,370

9,043

9,031

9,067

10,098

10,434

Revenues ($B)

12.1

11.4

6.7

9.7

9.9

8.7

7.5

7.6

7.2

*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, as well as 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 SEMI 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.

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