Wafer Demand Outpaces Semiconductor Unit Growth in 2011

Semiconductor unit sales remain strong and are expected to reach 718 billion in 2011, an 8.6% growth over 2010.

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By Joanne Itow
Semiconductor unit sales remain strong and are expected to reach 718 billion in 2011, an 8.6% growth over 2010. Unit sales are driving wafer demand at both advanced and mature fabs. Total silicon demand is expected to grow by 10% in 2011.

In the first quarter of 2011, semiconductor unit sales increased 1.3% over Q4 2010, reflecting an unusually healthy growth compared to the traditionally slow or negative seasonal pattern for the first quarter of the year. When compared to the same quarter a year ago, unit sales grew 6.0%. Second quarter is expected to register a 6% growth, quarter over quarter, with a corresponding growth in wafer demand.

Semiconductor devices that are leading the growth trend in both units and wafers include DRAM, NAND and MCU. Smartphone and tablet sales continue to drive NAND flash demand. The main driver for DRAM demand is still the computing market including notebooks and servers.

Semico is cautious about the second half of 2011 due to the decline in the Semico IPI which started last year; however, the index has already logged in two months of increase, providing some indication that the slowdown will be brief.

Source: Semico Research Corp. June 2011

Source: Semico Research Corp. June 2011

The Semico Wafer Demand Forecast is published quarterly and includes a breakout of wafer demand by semiconductor device by technology node for five years. The 2nd Quarter Wafer Demand Forecast will be available June 30th. The Semico IPI provides accurate, forward-looking predictions on the direction and strength of the semiconductor market twelve months in the future. Our June issue of the IPI will be ready for shipment by June 30th and will contain Semico’s midyear forecast.

To buy the 2nd Quarter Wafer Demand Forecast and the June IPI Report as a single issue, or sign up for the entire year, contact: Susan Cadel, 607-368-7600, [email protected]