According to new figures from SEMI, worldwide shipments of polysilicon reached 43,901MT in 2008, fuelled by the growing demand from the solar industry on a quarter-on-quarter basis. The semiconductor industry demand has been affected by fab closures and drastic cuts in fab utilizations rates as IC manufacturers cut production due to severe market softness.
"Despite the slowdown in semiconductor activity late last year, polysilicon shipments for the 4th quarter still grew about seven percent versus the previous quarter,” said Dan P. Tracy, senior director of Industry Research and Statistics at SEMI. “This reflected the continued strong demand across the other major consuming sector ? the photovoltaic industry. With the onset of new capacities coming on-line this year, solar should be free of its perennial bottleneck. Combined with friendly policies now in place, the industry can be in an enviable position of driving economic recovery."
SEMI obtains data directly from major polysilicon producers that include DC Chemical, Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., REC Silicon, Tokuyama Corp., and Wacker Chemie and is open to all polysilicon producers to provide data.