Wafer shipments forecast to increase in 2016, 2017 and 2018

SEMI recently completed its annual silicon shipment forecast for the semiconductor industry. This forecast provides an outlook for the demand in silicon units for the period 2016–2018. The SEMI forecast shows polished and epitaxial silicon shipments totaling 10,444 million square inches in 2016; 10,642 million square inches in 2017; and 10,897 million square inches in 2018 (refer to table below). Total wafer shipments this year are expected to exceed the market high set in 2015 and are forecast to continue shipping at record levels in 2017 and 2018.

“Silicon shipment volumes have been gaining strength in recent months, after a soft start at the beginning of the year,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “This positive momentum is expected to continue and result in modest annual growth for the segment this year, 2017 and into 2018.”

2016 Silicon Shipment Forecast

Total Electronic Grade Silicon Slices* – Does not Include Non-Polished Wafers

(Millions of Square Inches, MSI)

Actual

Forecast

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

MSI

9,826

10,269

10,444

10,642

10,897

Annual Growth

11%

5%

2%

2%

2%

Source: SEMI, October 2016

* 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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