Taiwan now leads world in wafer capacity

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - January 13, 2012

Taiwan held 21% of global capacity, surpassing Japan (19.7%) and South Korea (16.8%) to take over top spot for the first time.

Taiwan has overtaken Japan and South Korea in global installed wafer capacity, notching up as much as 21 percent of the global capacity.

According to IC Insights'  recently released Global Wafer Capacity 2011-12 report, as of mid-2011, Taiwan held 21% of global capacity, surpassing Japan (19.7%) and Korea (16.8%) to take over top spot for the first time (see figure, bdlow). 

The Americas region with 14.7% share and China with 8.9% of capacity rounded out the top five.  Also worth noting in the ressearch report is that China accounts for more wafer capacity than Europe.

 

 

 

In the data above, each regional number is the total installed monthly capacity of fabs located in that region regardless of the headquarters location for the companies that own the fabs.  Forinstance, the wafer capacity that Korea-based Samsung has installed in the U.S. is counted in the Americas capacity total, not the Korea capacity total.  The ROW "region" consists primarily of Singapore, Israel, Malaysia, but also includes countries such as Russia, Belarus, India, South Africa, and Australia.

The new a Global Wafer Capacity report also notes that Taiwan has the industry's largest share of capacity for the biggest wafer size (i.e., 300mm).  In 2011, Taiwan held 25.4% share of worldwide 300mm wafer capacity, 18.7% of 200mm wafer capacity, and 11.4% of 150mm wafer capacity.  In 2011, 300mm wafers represented 64.6% of the country's installed capacity, 200mm wafers, 29.2%; and 150mm wafers accounted for 6.1%.

Taiwan also holds the industry’s largest share of capacity dedicated to "not so leading-edge" 40nm-60nm process geometries.  This is to be expected, given Taiwan's focus on providing foundry services to a large variety of fabless IC suppliers, 'fab-lite' IDMs, and electronic system producers.

More detailed analysis and a forecast of the IC industry's wafer fab capacity through 2016 is provided in the 2011-12 edition of IC Insights' Global Wafer Capacity report.

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