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Silicon wafer market makes rebound in '02

Posted: 03 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:gartner? silicon wafer? msi? sumitomo metal industry?

Worldwide silicon wafer revenue totaled $5.7 billion in 2002, an increase of 5.2 percent from 2001 revenue of $5.4 billion, according to Gartner Inc. The industry has reportedly returned to positive growth in 2002, after suffering through 2001 when total revenue declined by 31 percent.

Gartner said that wafer demand on a surface area basis surged 19 percent in 2002 to 4,781 millions of square inches (MSIs), compared with a major decline in 2001. While MSI-based wafer demand recovered strongly in 2002, wafer prices continued to decline.

"The high-value-added product, 300mm wafer, steadily penetrated the market, but at the cost of its premium price advantage," said Takashi Ogawa, principal analyst for Gartner's semiconductor manufacturing research group. "Despite the decline in prices, the success of vendors in the 300mm wafer business clearly reflects the impact 300mm is having on the industry."

Gartner analysts further said that vendors should expect further consolidation in the industry. In 2002, the merger of Sumitomo Metal Industry and the silicon wafer division of Mitsubishi Materials, created SUMCO, which resulted in the second-largest vendor being much closer to the industry leader, Shin-Etsu.

"This certainly has sent a shock wave to the peaceful industry landscape, where market share remained stable over the past decade," Ogawa said. "We believe market share will become volatile through the consolidation process, and a major reshuffle will take place in the next three to five years."

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