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Report: Foundry wafer starts fly high in Q3

Posted: 19 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:foundry wafer starts? fab? manufacturing capacity?

A new report from the Semiconductor International Capacity Statistics (SICAS) found that foundry wafer starts increased 13.3 percent in Q3 from the previous quarter, and 19.1 percent compared with the same quarter in 2006.

The group noted that although manufacturing capacity in the foundries was added at a rapid rate, 11.4 percent was added compared to the previous quarter, to take foundry manufacturing capacity to 335,000 8-inch equivalent wafers per week, demand increased faster. Actual wafer starts jumped 13.3 percent sequentially to 315,000 wafer starts per week.

As a result foundry manufacturing capacity utilization reached 94.2 percent in Q3, compared to 92.7 percent in Q2 and 91.5 percent in Q3 2006, the report said.

Overall IC wafer starts, combining foundry and IDM, also grew strongly in Q3, up by 5.6 percent compared with the previous quarter and up 17.6 percent on Q3 2006.

Nonetheless due to a similar annual jump in IC manufacturing capacity, up 5.8 percent to 2.1 million 8-inch equivalent wafer starts per week, worldwide wafer fab capacity utilization stayed level at 89.4 percent in Q3. Leading-edge processes, defined as those with geometries less than 120nm, stayed well above 90 percent at 92.8 percent, said SICAS.

The group bases its statistics on data supplied by merchant IC manufacturers that together represent the majority of the world's IC production.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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