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Silicon wafer shipments set to decline for second year running

15 October 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Materials and Gases

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Although there are strong signs of a recovery in fab utilization rates as demand improves, silicon wafer shipments are still expected to decline significantly in 2009. SEMI said that it expects shipments to decline approximately 20% in 2009 to 6,331 million square inches (MSI). Shipments declined by 6% in 2008, compared to 2007.
However, the expected industry recovery in 2010 will see shipments rebound strongly by 23% in 2010 and 10% more in 2011, reaching a new record.

"Sales of silicon wafers for the manufacturing of semiconductor devices will rebound from the low point this year," said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI. "Within the next two years, silicon shipments will exceed the levels seen before the recent global financial crisis and semiconductor industry downturn. Shipments are forecasted to reach new record annual levels by 2011."

It would seem that SEMI’s sharp rebound forecast would include both higher fab utilization rates as well as new fab capacity coming on stream. The deep shipment declines in 2009 are assumed to attributed to the weak market, almost record low utilization rates in the early part of the year and the closure of fabs.


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