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2019

03/19

Mainland China has added 5 12-inch wafer factories this year

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China is actively developing semiconductors. IC Insights estimates that nine 12-inch (300 mm) wafer factories worldwide are scheduled to open this year, five of them in China.

IC Insights 15 press release said (see this), 12-inch wafer is the mainstream industry, in 2018, the global 12-inch wafer factory increased by 7 to 112. It is estimated that nine new factories will be launched this year, five of them in China. Nine 12-inch wafer factories opened in one year, the largest since 2007.

In addition, the number of 12-inch wafer factories is estimated to increase by 6 in 2020. New 12-inch wafer factories opened in 2019 and 2020 are used to produce DRAM, flash or wafer OEM.

IC Insights predicts that the total number of 12-inch wafer plants in the world will be 138 by the end of 2023. In addition, the number of 8-inch (200 mm) wafer factories decreased to 150 at the end of 2018, which is lower than 210 at its peak.

According to the January press release of SEMI (see above), China has built more semiconductor plants than anywhere else in the world, with new plants scheduled for 2017-2020. It is estimated that the annual compound growth rate of wafer production capacity in China is as high as 12%. It will produce 2.3 million wafers per month (wpm) in 2015 and 4 million wafers per month in 2020.

Many Chinese silicon wafer factories produce 6-inch (150 mm) or less wafers, while 8-inch and 12-inch wafers are backward in technology. It may take several years for large silicon wafers to catch up with their production capacity and yield. Land-based enterprises are still actively increasing production. According to the company's plan and announcement, the supply of 8-inch silicon wafers in China will reach 1.3 million pieces per month by the end of 2020, which may cause excess supply; the supply of 12-inch silicon wafers will increase to 750,000 pieces per month.