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China devising 300mm silicon wafers

Posted: 22 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon wafer?

China is developing a significant silicon wafer industry, including a company that has a 300mm capability, according to the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Int. (SEMI) trade group.

"There are a number of key domestic suppliers of silicon wafers" in China, said analysts Samuel Ni and Dan Tracy of SEMI, in a recent e-mail newsletter.

"The largest silicon producers in China include: Grinm Semiconductor Materials, QL Electronics (formerly known as Haina Semiconductor), MCL, Shanghai Shenhe Thermo-Magnetics Co., WaferWorks and Wanxing Silicon-Peak (SIPEC) Electronics Co. Ltd," according to the analysts at SEMI.

"While these manufacturers currently focus on 150mm and smaller diameter wafers, both Grinm and QL Electronics have 200mm wafer production capability. Grinm has also developed 300mm wafer production capability," according to the analysts.

Lisa Wong, sales manager of Grinm (Beijing), declined to comment on the company's 300mm activities and referred all calls to SEMI in China.

On a million square inch (MSI) basis, China silicon consumption increased from about 125 MSI in 2003 to 208 MSI in 2004, or a 66 percent increase, according to SEMI. In comparison, worldwide wafer area shipments increased 22 percent in 2004, it said.

Wafer consumption in China represents just over 3 percent of 2004 worldwide wafer area shipments. SEMI estimates silicon wafer revenues in the China market to be $181 million in 2004.

For wafer diameters 100mm and smaller in diameter, domestic wafer suppliers support nearly all of the domestic market needs. Wafers sold by domestic suppliers also represented nearly 90 percent of the domestic 125mm wafer sales in 2004. For 150mm wafers, however, overseas suppliers had about 60 percent market share of the China market in 2004, according to SEMI.

Indeed, China is putting down roots for a domestic semiconductor and materials industry that could eventually go global, posing a potential threat to competitors and intellectual-property protections (see Sept. 26, 2001 story).

- EE Times

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