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1Q11 fab capacity reaches 93.7%

Posted: 06 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fab capacity? wafer manufacturing? capacity utilization?

The wafer manufacturing capacity statistical report for the first quarter of 2011 has now been released by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). According to the report, utilization in most areas has remained above 90 percent. The average capacity utilization for the entire semiconductor industry averaged at 93.7 percent, revealing that that the semiconductor industry continued to be close to sold out during the first quarter.

However, SIA's report has been released much later than usual. Q1's report normally appears in mid to late May. No reason was given for the delay although it is noticeable that many of the spreadsheet figures for the previous quarter have been changed. This suggests that statisticians had problems squaring Q1 against Q4 and had to do some back checking and correction.

Most of the changed cells for 4Q10 are in the MOS category for design rules between 200nm and 120nm (roughly covering 0.18micron, 0.15micron and 0.13micron manufacturing processes) and also in foundry figures.

Worldwide wafer fab capacity utilization hit 93.7 percent in 1Q11, up from 92.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to SICAS, an organization that collects production statistics from around the world for the benefit of the industry. However, production is split between older processes and 200mm wafer production and new processes and 300mm production

Capacity is pretty much level for processes of 130nm and above with utilization at between 80 and 90 percent. At the leading edge for the 65nm process node production capacity is falling, but utilization was 95.8 percent which is slightly down from 97 percent in the previous quarter.

At less than 60nm design rules, capacity is up by 38.9 percent to 987.5 k-wafer starts per week compared with the same quarter a year before. Actually wafer starts have increased by 41 percent resulting to a climbing utilization of 98.9 percent in 1Q11.

Manufacturing capacity utilization on 200mm wafers was 89.6 percent in 1Q11 whereas utilization on 300mm wafers was at 97.0 percent.

Foundries, which represented 19.6 percent of total semiconductor manufacturing capacity in 1Q11, showed steady growth capacity to 441.9 k-wafers starts per week, up 15 percent on the 1Q10. Capacity utilization was 97.0 percent in 1Q11, according to the SICAS figures.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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