Silicon wafer shipments and revenue fall in 2023

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Worldwide silicon wafer shipments in 2023 fell by 14.3% to 12,602 million square inches while wafer revenue contracted 10.9% to $12.3bn over the same period, according to new figures compiled by the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG).

The decline, a sharp departure from the previous three years of consecutive growth, stemmed from a slowdown in end-demand, coupled with a broad-based inventory correction. Softening memory and logic sector demand led to a decline in orders for 12-inch wafers, while weakening foundry and analogue uptake accounted for a drop in shipments of 8-inch wafers.

"Shipments of 12-inch polished and epi wafers contracted 13% and 5% in 2023, respectively,” said Lee Chungwei, Chairman of SEMI SMG and Vice President and Chief Auditor at GlobalWafers. “Total shipments of all wafer sizes slipped 9% in the second half of 2023 relative to the first half of the year.”

The data covers polished silicon wafers, including those used as virgin test wafers, as well as epitaxial silicon wafers, and non-polished silicon wafers shipped by the wafer manufacturers to end users.

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for the majority of semiconductors, and these highly engineered thin disks are produced in diameters of up to 12 inches and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductors are fabricated.

The SMG is a sub-committee of the SEMI Electronic Materials Group (EMG) and is open to SEMI members involved in manufacturing polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon or silicon wafers.