“2022 revenue growth is stronger than shipment growth as average selling prices are higher and products with leading-edge Logic and Memory production are favored,” states Dan Tracy, Sr. Director at TECHCET. This higher wafer pricing is critical to suppliers to support announced capacity expansions. Namely, the top five wafer suppliers have all announced coming greenfield capacity expansion. These large investment projects cost US$2 billion or more, and will take 2+ years to bring production on-line, meaning any significant capacity addition will not take effect until around 2024-2025.
Until then, industry will need to get by with incremental brownfield capacity expansion. TECHCET has forecasted a slowdown next year, meaning 2023 could be an opportunity for the tight supply/demand balance in the silicon supply chain to be alleviated.
It is interesting to note that leading wafer suppliers are considering a major plant investment in the U.S. In the past, major investment prospects in the U.S. were minimal given industry trends of new fabs being primarily constructed in the Asia-Pacific region. However, with the US Chips Act finally being signed into law, supporting the US semiconductor manufacturing supply chain via new silicon wafer plants has become a more realistic possibility. GlobalWafers, for instance, announced in July that it will construct a new plant in Sherman, Texas, and the expectation is that this project will move forward with US Chips Act and other governmental support and funding.
For more details on the Silicon Wafer market growth trajectory, including information on suppliers like Aymont, Ferrotec, GlobalWafers, Eswin, and more, go to: Silicon Wafers-NEW | TECHCET CA LLC