First quarter 2018 silicon wafer shipments increase quarter-over-quarter to record level

Reaching their highest recorded quarterly level ever, worldwide silicon wafer area shipments jumped to 3,084 million square inches during the first quarter 2018, a 3.6 percent increase over fourth quarter 2017 area shipments of 2,977 million square inches and a 7.9 percent rise over first quarter 2017 shipments, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.

“Global silicon wafer shipment volumes started the year at historic levels,” said Neil Weaver, chairman SEMI SMG and Director, Product Development and Applications Engineering of Shin-Etsu Handotai America. “As a result, silicon shipments, like device shipments, are positioned to be strong this year.”

Silicon* Area Shipment Trends

Millions of Square Inches
1Q 2017
2Q 2017
3Q 2017
4Q 2017
1Q 2018
Total
2,858
2,978
2,997
2,977
3,084

Source: SEMI, May 2018

*Semiconductor applications only

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 includes polished silicon wafers, including virgin test wafers and epitaxial silicon wafers, as well as non-polished silicon wafers shipped by the wafer manufacturers to 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.

 

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