Global Silicon Wafer Shipments on Track for Recovery and Record High

Article By : SEMI

Global silicon wafer shipments are set to increase 2.4% year-over-year in 2020, with growth continuing in 2021 and shipments reaching a record high in 2022...

Global silicon wafer shipments are set to increase 2.4% year-over-year in 2020, with growth continuing in 2021 and shipments reaching a record high in 2022, SEMI reported today in its annual silicon shipment forecast for the semiconductor industry.

“Silicon wafer shipments are recovering this year despite pressure from geopolitical tensions, the shifting global semiconductor supply chain and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Clark Tseng, director of Industry Research and Statistics at SEMI. “With the pandemic accelerating digitization to transform businesses and their delivery of services worldwide, we expect continued growth over the next two years.”

2020 Silicon* Shipment Forecast (MSI = Millions of Square Inches) 

  Actual Forecast
  2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
MSI 12,541 11,677 11,957 12,554 13,220 13,761
Annual Growth 8.0% -6.9% 2.4% 5.0% 5.3% 4.1%

*Total Electronic Grade Silicon Slices – Excludes Non-Polished Wafers

*Shipments are for semiconductor applications only and do not include solar applications

Source: SEMI (www.semi.org), September 2020

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 such as virgin test wafers and epitaxial silicon wafers shipped by the wafer manufacturers to the end-users but not non-polished or reclaimed wafers.

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