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300mm Silicon Wafer pricing has increased by 20% YoY

Will this lead to further increases to chip prices in 2018?

300mm Silicon Wafer pricing is expected to increase by 20% in 2018

300mm Silicon Wafer pricing has increased by 20% YoY

The price of Silicon wafers has increased by 20% when compared to this time last year, with the global supply of silicon wafers failing to keep up with increased demand. 

This year has seen huge levels of growth for the semiconductor industry, with demand for chips continuing to swell as both enterprise customers and consumers demand more NAND, DRAM and stronger chips in products. 

SUMCO, a Japanese silicon wafer manufacturer, has increased the price of 300mm silicon wafers by 20% when compared to Q4 2016. It is also expected that Silicon Wafer pricing will continue to increase moving into 2019.


According to SUMCO's CEO, Hashimoto Mayuki, the global demand for 300mm silicon wafers is 5.6 million units per month, with global demand being expected to be as high as 6.6 million nits per month in 2020. 

  

300mm Silicon Wafer pricing is expected to increase by 20% in 2018   

Just like the NAND industry before it, Silicon Wafer makers are limiting themselves when it comes to making extensions to their facilities, as excessive extensions can increase supply too much and reduce the market price of silicon wafers. A higher market price for silicon wafers is a good thing for these companies, though increasing supply too slowly also runs the risk of new competitors entering the market to fill the supply gap. 

SUMCO plans to increase their monthly output by 110,000 units in 2019, with Soltronic, a German company, planning to increase their monthly output by 70,000 units. Right now it is expected that this increase in output will not be enough to counter increases in demand.  

It is expected that other Silicon Wafer makers will offer similar increases in production, keeping the price of silicon wafers (and their margins) high. Increasing wafer supply too quickly will lead to a devaluation of their products, which means that for now this increase inc cost will be passed onto their customers and eventually to consumers. 

You can join the discussion on the increased cost of Silicon Wafers on the OC3D Forums.  

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15-11-2017, 11:20:17

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