200mm wafer demand driving growth in Asia

August 08, 2018 //By Peter Clarke
200mm wafer demand driving growth in Asia
Demand for More-than-Moore ICs and technologies that are manufactured on, or are migrating up to, 200mm-diameter wafers, will cause chip makers to add 11 percent to capacity over the next five years, according to industry body SEMI.

The number of 200mm wafer fabs in the world will increase from 194 in 2017 to 203 by 2022 and 56 established fabs are looking to increase manufacturing capacity. As a result, global capacity is set to increase by 600,000 wafer starts per month to reach 6 million wafer starts per month by the end of 2022, SEMI said. Only six facilities plan to reduce manufacturing, SEMI said.

The product types driving demand are MEMS, power, logic and more general foundry.

200mm fab count and capacity by year excluding LED, epi wafer production and R&D lines. Source: SEMI

The growth in 200mm manufacturing capacity is substantially based in Asia with Europe making no contribution at all. China is expected to account for 44 percent of growth, followed by Southeast Asia (19 percent), Taiwan (10 percent) and the Americas (8 percent).

Strong demand for 200mm fab equipment does mean that the second-hand market, buoyant during the transition of digital ICs to 300mm wafer has now dried up. The availability of tools and spare parts is now a concern for fab operators and is likely to be a limiter of growth.

"These headwinds notwithstanding, many companies remain bullish with plans to add more capacity. The forecast growth of 600,000 wafers per month may ultimately be a conservative estimate," said Christian G. Dieseldorff, director of industry research and statistics at SEMI.

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