Silicon wafer shipments as expected recovered strongly in 2010 as fab utilization rates increased and the industry posted strong growth for the year. According to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG), worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased by 40% last year with shipments equal to 9,370 million square inches (MSI), a new record high.
Revenues reached US$9.7 billion up 45% compared to US$6.7 billion posted in 2009.
However, revenue levels were significantly lower than those set in 2007-8 on lower shipment levels, indicating pricing has yet to recover.
"2010 was clearly a very strong recovery year for the semiconductor industry, resulting in a 40 percent area growth in wafer demand.” said Dr. Volker Braetsch, chairman of SEMI SMG and corporate vice president of Siltronic AG. ”Given current market forecasts, we are expecting solid demand for silicon wafers in 2011, although at a much more modest post-recovery rate.”