Memory dominates leading-edge chip manufacture

Memory dominates leading-edge chip manufacture

Market news |
By Peter Clarke

Samsung, Micron and SK Hynix accounted for 76 percent of leading-edge wafer capacity at the end of 2022, according to the Global Wafer Capacity report from Knometa Research.

Knometa has divided wafer manufacturing into four segments: leading-edge, lagging-edge, mature, and large-feature technologies.

The leading-edge is defined as foundry manufacture at 3nm to 6nm, Intel manufacture at 4nm to 7nm, DRAMs at 11nm to 14nm and 3D NAND with ≥176 layers. 3D NAND with multiple layers can have more relaxed lateral geometries with the complexity in fabricating through-silicon connections.

At the end of 2022, Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix accounted for 76 percent of leading-edge capacity by this definition, with the vast majority of it for advanced DRAM and 3D NAND production.

The other wafer definitions are:

  • Lagging edge: 7nm to 16nm foundry, 10nm to 14nm Intel MPU, 15nm to 20nm DRAM, 64L to 144L 3D NAND
  • Mature: 20nm to 110nm logic, >20nm DRAM
  • Large feature: ≥130nm processes

Samsung was the industry’s top source of both leading- and lagging-edge capacity at the end of 2022. The company is the industry’s top supplier of DRAM and NAND flash memory products and one of the largest manufacturers of advanced logic products such as low-power, high-performance application processors for Samsung’s smartphones and SoCs for the fabless semiconductor industry.

TSMC, the industry’s top pure-play foundry, ranked among the top five companies in all four of the process generation groups. TSMC caters to a wide variety of customers with 39 fab lines providing a diverse portfolio of process technologies. Other pure-play foundries, such as UMC and SMIC, play prominent roles in the mature technology segment.

As the industry’s leading supplier of analog and analog-centric mixed-signal ICs, Texas Instruments was the largest source of capacity for large-feature technologies at the end of the year. STMicroelectronics is among the industry’s biggest suppliers of analog and microcontroller products, which are commonly made with mature and large-feature processes.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

More than half US-owned chipmaking capacity is overseas

Aggressive fab spending won’t lead to chip glut, says Knometa

Intel set to buy foundry Tower for $5.4 billion

Micron to build $100 billion megafab in New York state

Analog Devices spending $1 billion on fab upgrade

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