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Foundry, memory take lion's share of global wafer fab capacity

Posted: 11 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DRAM? wafer fab? analogue? logic?

Memory ICs and foundries made up more than half of the semiconductor industry's installed monthly capacity of 14, 497K wafers (200mm-equivalent wafers) last year, according to report by IC Insights.

Of the 54 per cent, logic took 12.4 per cent, microcomponents such as MPUs, MCUs and DSPs raked in 10.3 per cent while analogue devices accounted for 9.6 per cent of capacity. The rest is comprised mainly of capacity used in the fabrication of optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete (O-S-D) devices as well as some R&D functions in fabs that are otherwise used primarily for the volume production of IC products.

Worldwide capacity by product type

Figure 1: Worldwide capacity by product type as of Dec.2012. Source: IC Insights.

Large-scale production of DRAM and flash memory helped drive installed capacity for all memory to 36.1 per cent of installed capacity in December 2012, while the growing foundry segment represented 27.5 per cent of capacity. In terms of sales, virtually all pure-play foundry business is in the fabrication of logic and mixed-signal ICs. Memory product wafers accounted for only about 1 per cent of total pure-play foundry sales in 2012.

Regional capacity by product type

Figure 2: Regional capacity by product type as of Dec.2012. Source: IC Insights.

Figure 2 shows that on a regional basis, capacity for analogue products is fairly evenly distributed among Japan, Europe, and the Americas regions. In memory, capacity is held mainly by South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. The largest portion of logic capacity is located in Japan, with the Americas, South Korea, and Europe holding smaller, but still sizeable, shares. The Americas region tops microcomponent capacity due mostly to high-volume MPU production from Intel. Taiwan is by far the largest shareholder of capacity having about 48 per cent of the world's capacity dedicated of foundry work. China also has a large amount of foundry capacity, currently dominated by SMIC.

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