China drives 200mm wafer capacity boom

Market news |
By Nick Flaherty

Capacity of 200mm silicon wafers is set to grow 20% by 2025, led by automotive and power in China, says the latest data from Semi.

Semiconductor manufacturers worldwide are planning to add 13 new 200mm lines to reach a record high of more than 7 million wafers per month (wpm), Semi said in its latest 200mm Fab Outlook to 2025 report. Demand for automotive and other applications is driving the capacity expansion for power semiconductors and MEMS in particular.

Fab capacity for automotive and power semiconductors growing at a rate of 58% from 2021 to 2025, followed by MEMS at 21%, foundry at 20% and analog at 14%. This is very different from the 300mm wafer fabs used for leading edge CMOS chips.

China dominates production with a 66% increase by 2025, followed by Southeast Asia at 35%, Americas at 11%, Europe and Mideast at 8%, and Korea at 2%. In 2022, China is expected to have 21% of global 200mm fab capacity, followed by Taiwan and Japan at 11% and 10%, respectively.

Chipmakers including ASMC, BYD Semiconductor, China Resources Microelectronics, Fuji Electronics, Infineon Technologies, Nexperia and STMicroelectronics have announced new 200mm fabs to meet growing demand, although the European fabs are for materials such as GaN-on-silicon and silicon carbide (SiC).

The impending downturn in the semiconductor market could hit these figures, as could the US-China trade war, where US staff are prohibited from services equipment in certain Chinese fabs.  

The SEMI 200mm Fab Outlook to 2025 report tracks more than 330 fabs and lines. The report reflects 75 updates across 53 facilities and lines and includes four new projects since the previous report in April 2022.

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