Silicon wafer shipments suffered a steep decline within the first quarter of 2023

In context: After having fun with distinctive revenues from an artificially inflated market in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, corporations at the moment are lamenting a shrinking tech enterprise for each client and company shoppers. The demand is not there anymore, though issues ought to enhance subsequent yr.

As laptop chip, smartphone and DRAM module shipments have returned to their typical pre-pandemic volumes, the hi-tech business is recording an increasing number of destructive enterprise outcomes. Silicon wafer producers are struggling the brand new market circumstances as nicely, though it is not simply dangerous news all through the whole manufacturing business.

In response to SEMI Silicon Producers Group (SMG), an business affiliation offering market info and statistics in regards to the silicon business and the semiconductor market, worldwide silicon wafer shipments for the primary quarter of 2023 had been down to three,265 million sq. inches (-9.0%) in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2022. Yr-over-year, the silicon wafer market suffered a -11.3% decline from the three,679 million sq. inches recorded in Q1 2022.

Anna-Riikka Vuorikari-Antikainen, Chairman of SEMI SMG, mentioned that the decline in silicon wafer shipments “displays softening semiconductor demand since early this yr.” Reminiscence chips and client digital gadgets have seen the most important drop in demand, Vuorikari-Antikainen mentioned, whereas automotive and industrial purposes stay extra secure.

SEMI SMG highlights how silicon wafers are the elemental constructing materials for semiconductors, which in flip are the central constructing block for “just about all electronics items” together with computer systems, telecommunication home equipment, and different client electronics merchandise. The “extremely engineered” skinny spherical disks are produced in diameters starting from 1 inch to 12 inches, and function the substrate materials most semiconductor gadgets or chips are fabricated on.

Market information supplied by SEMI SMG embrace each polished silicon wafers reminiscent of virgin check and epitaxial silicon wafers, and non-polished silicon wafers shipped to finish customers – i.e., CPU, chip and DIMM producers. SEMI SMG works to “facilitate collective efforts” on points associated to the silicon business, together with the event of market info and statistics in regards to the ongoing market traits.

The business affiliation did not present any forecast for future (anticipated) quarter efficiency, whereas third-party analysts are already busy making an attempt to learn the indicators inside their crystal ball a couple of potential market rebound. In response to Gartner’s divinations, there is a gentle on the finish of the tunnel as chip revenues ought to return to development in 2024.

Peter Johnson