Despite COVID-19 global silicon wafer area shipments edge up

May 04, 2020 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Despite COVID-19 global silicon wafer area shipments edge up
The SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) has released its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry, in which it finds that silicon wafer area shipments rose 2.7 percent to 2,920 million square inches in the first quarter of 2020, compared with fourth-quarter 2019 shipments of 2,844 million square inches, but dropped 4.3 percent year-over-year.

"Global silicon wafer shipments rebounded slightly in the first quarter of 2020 after declining for one year," said Neil Weaver, chairman SEMI SMG and vice president, Product Development and Applications Engineering at Shin Etsu Handotai America. "However, with the disruptions caused by the coronavirus, market uncertainty will prevail in the upcoming quarters."

All data cited in this release includes polished silicon wafers such as virgin test wafers and epitaxial silicon wafers, as well as non-polished silicon wafers shipped to end users.

In February this year, SMG reported in its year-end analysis of the silicon wafer industry that worldwide silicon wafer area shipments in 2019 declined 7 percent from the 2018 record high while revenue remained above the $11 billion mark despite a global silicon revenue slip of 2 percent over the same period.

Silicon wafer area shipments in 2019 totaled 11,810 million square inches (MSI), while the industry logged shipments of 12,732 million square inches in 2018. Revenues in 2019 totaled $11.15 billion, edging down from the $11.38 billion posted in 2018.

“The 2019 decline in worldwide semiconductor silicon volume shipments resulted from memory market softness and inventory normalization,” said Neil Weaver, Vice President of SEMI SMG, and Director, Product Development and Applications Engineering, at Shin-Etsu Handotai America.

“Despite the volume dip, silicon revenue remained resilient.”

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