Europe has just 5 percent of IC manufacturing capacity market share, according to the 2022 edition of the Global Wafer Capacity Report, from Knometa Research.

This report shows major differences in the regional market shares compared with the shares published recently by the European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) based on numbers from industry body SEMI (see Europe headed towards 5% share of global chip production).

The capacity numbers published in Global Wafer Capacity are for integrated circuits only. If they were to include other semiconductors like power discretes and MEMS sensors, then Europe’s share of worldwide fab capacity would higher than 5 percent.

The ESIA/SEMI figures gave Europe 7.2 percent share at the end of 2020. In both cases Europe would have a lower market share of chip manufacturing by value because Europe’s IC wafer fabs operate behind the leading-edge.

The report from Knometa estimates that worldwide IC wafer capacity at the end of 2021 was 21.6 million 200mm-equivalent wafers per month. Of that total China had the capacity to process 3.5 million wafers. That gives China 16 percent of global capacity, considerably lower than the 23.4 percent estimate at the end of 2020 from SEMI.

Global IC wafer capacity share at December 2021 by wafer fab location (21.6 million 200mm-equivalent wafers per month). Source: Knometa Research. (Yellow segment represents Japan market share.)


According to Knometa, China’s share of capacity has increased one percentage point in each of the last two years and a total of seven points since 2011, when the country accounted for 9 percent of all IC wafer capacity.

In addition, roughly half of all wafers produced in China are done so by foreign companies. Some of the largest fabs in the country are owned by SK Hynix, Samsung, TSMC, and UMC.

Memory chip company SK Hynix controls 17 percent of China’s capacity. This does not include Intel’s NAND flash fab in Dalian that SK Hynix is in the process of acquiring. Ownership of the fab was transferred to SK Hynix in December 2021, but Intel will continue to run it until March 2025 (see Intel starts sale of memory business to SK Hynix).

Knometa expects China’s share of global IC wafer capacity to reach nearly 19 percent by 2024. Meanwhile South Korea is at 23 percent, ahead of Taiwan at 21 percent with Japan at 15 percent, as of the end of 2021.

The Global Wafer Capacity Report provides an examination of existing fab capacity along with a five-year forecast. The report has been published on an annual basis since 2007, initially by IC Insights. In December 2021, IC Insights transferred business associated with Global Wafer Capacity to co-founder Trevor Yancey. Global Wafer Capacity 2022 is sold by Yancey’s company Knometa Research.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Europe headed towards 5% share of global chip production

Intel starts sale of memory business to SK Hynix

European Chips Act coming February, says EC president

China is gaining chip production market share rapidly, says SIA

Germany ready to help Europe invest ‘billions’ in chip manufacturing

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