According to the Market Statsville Group (MSG), theglobal semiconductor silicon wafer market size is expected to grow from USD 11.9 billion in 2021 to USD 16.0 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 3.4% from 2022 to 2030. The semiconductor industry has been a significant driver behind the critical innovations in significant sectors like electronics, automobile, and automation, with semiconductor technology emerging as the building block of all modern technologies. The advancements and innovations in this field are immediately impacting all downstream technologies.
Semiconductor silicon wafer remains the core component of various microelectronic devices and forms the electronics industry’s cornerstone. With digitization and electronic mobility denoting the current trends in the technology landscape, these products are finding applications in many devices.
Increasing consumption of SSDs, due to trends such as cloud computing and high-performance computation is further anticipated to augment the demand for silicon wafers from the memory industry. Overall, the market is projected to witness fast growth over the forecast period.
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Global Semiconductor Silicon Wafer Market Definition
Silicon wafer is a material used for manufacturing semiconductors, which can be found in all types of electronic devices. Silicon comes second as the most common element globally, and it is regularly used as a semiconductor in the technology and electronic sectors.
Global Semiconductor Silicon Wafer Market Dynamics
Drivers: Capacity Expansion and Technological Advancement
The increasing demand for MEMS, IC, discrete semiconductors, power devices, analog optics, and compound semiconductors boosts the production and demand for silicon wafers. This trend also motivates many market vendors to expand their capacity and invest in new equipment. Also, the number of semiconductor volume fabs has increased in the last decade.
In fact, according to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), silicon wafer shipments for semiconductor applications are expected to exceed 17,600 million square inches (MSI) by 2025, from 11,810 MSI in 2019.
Further, according to SEMI, the global investments in the new fab projects starting construction in 2020 saw a jump of USD 12 billion to nearly USD 50 billion. The new fab projects will add more than 740,000 wafers per month in 200 mm equivalent. A prominent share of the project’s investments is in China and Europe. Chinese companies drive a significant share of the investments.
Restraints: Increasing Demand for Substitute Products
The market is increasingly witnessing the increasing investment in substitute semiconductor materials, like GaN and SiC, one of the primary concerns for silicon wafer manufacturers. Many industries are also investing in semiconductor chips made from substitute materials. For instance, many Asian vendors are in radiofrequency (RF) chips made with GaN, as they offer greater efficiency and higher power than their silicon-based counterparts. Accordingly, GaN semiconductors are useful in 5G-related applications, like self-driving cars and autonomous factories.
In August 2020, Sweden-based materials specialist, SweGan, reached a key milestone with the help of 150 mm wafers for its GaN-on-SiC technology. NXP Semiconductors launched a new USD 100 million fab extension in Arizona to make RF products with GaN substrates. In 2020, ROHM and STMicroelectronics entered a multi-year silicon carbide (SiC) wafers supply agreement with SiCrystal in Europe. The agreement outlines the supply of over USD 120 million of advanced 150 mm silicon carbide wafers by SiCrystal to STMicroelectronics during this period of demand ramp-up for silicon carbide power devices.
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Segments of the Global Semiconductor Silicon Wafer Market
The study categorizes the semiconductor silicon wafer market based on diameter, product, application, and region
By Diameter Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- Less than 150 mm
- 200 mm
- 300 mm and above
By Product Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- Other Products
By Application Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- Consumer Electronic
- Other Applications
By Region Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- North America
- The Netherlands
- Czech Republic
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Australia & New Zealand
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- South America
- Rest of South America
- The Middle East & Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Northern Africa
- Rest of MEA
The 300 mm and above segment is projected to account for the largest market share, by diameter
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Based on diameter, the global semiconductor silicon wafer market is divided into Less than 150 mm, 200 mm, and 300 mm and above. In 2021, the 300 mm and above had the largest market share of 63.2% in the global semiconductor silicon wafer market. The transition from 200 mm to 300 mm wafers on a commercial scale began in 2000 and reduced the cost per die by 30-40%. The increase in the silicon wafers’ diameter reduces the cost of the semiconductor wafers and increases the throughput in the targeted purpose. However, this change required the wafer industry to overcome significant technical challenges and a large investment in new infrastructure.
With the progress in silicon wafer manufacturing technology, driven primarily by the needs of the integrated circuit chip manufacturers, silicon wafer sizes have gradually increased in size from 25 mm silicon wafers to the current largest available diameter of 450 mm silicon wafers. The larger the silicon wafer diameter, the larger the surface area and the more chips that can be manufactured from a single wafer. More chips per silicon wafer equal a lower cost per chip for the chipmaker.
Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on the regions, the global semiconductor silicon wafer market has been segmented across North America, Asia–Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Globally, Asia Pacific is estimated to hold the highest CAGR of 3.8% in the global semiconductor silicon wafer market over the forecast period. One of the major factors for this expansion is the financial support that Asian governments are extending to this industry. China has established the National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, which supports the semiconductor industry’s expansion through local projects and research.
After the Asia Pacific, North America is projected to be the fastest-growing region with a CAGR of 2.8% during the study period (2022-2030). North America is expected to be a significant revenue contributor to the market by 2021 as fabless semiconductor companies are the prominent customers for semiconductor foundries and wafer players. Fabless companies make chip designs exclusively and market them without a fabrication plant.
Key Market Players in the Global Semiconductor Silicon Wafer Market
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Most companies in the market are focused on expanding operations across regions, augmenting their capabilities, and building strong partner relations. Major players in the global semiconductor silicon wafer market are: