Global silicon wafer area shipments has set a new record in the second quarter of 2016, according to the Semi Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,706 million square inches during the most recent quarter, a 6.6% increase from the 2,538 million square inches shipped during the previous quarter. New quarterly total area shipments are 0.1% higher than second quarter 2015 shipments and are at their highest recorded quarterly level.

"Silicon shipment growth continues to gain momentum resulting in a quarterly volume shipment high,” said Dr. Volker Braetsch, chairman Semi SMG and senior vice president of Siltronic AG. “Although year-to-date shipments are effectively flat relative to the same period as last year.”

EETI wafer shipments Figure 1: Total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,706 million square inches in Q2. (Source: SMG)

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 1 inch to 12 inches) and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductor devices or "chips" are fabricated.