Silicon wafer shipments and revenues set new records in 2021

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Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments in 2021 increased by 14% while wafer revenue rose 13% compared to 2020, topping $12 billion, according to new figures from the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG).

These figures represent an all-time high, according to SMG.

“The robust year-over-year growth in silicon wafer area shipments and revenue reflects the heavy dependence of the modern economy on silicon wafers,” said Neil Weaver, outgoing chairman SEMI SMG 2018-2021 and vice president, Product Development and Applications Engineering at Shin Etsu Handotai America. “Wafers are the engine of digital transformation and new technologies that are reshaping how we live and work.”

Silicon shipments totalled 14,165 million square inches (MSI) compared to 12,407 MSI shipped in 2020 to meet surging broad-based demand for semiconductor devices and a wide variety of applications.

The report saw strong demand for 300mm, 200mm and 150mm wafer sizes, while wafer revenues reached $12,6bn, surpassing the previous record of $12.1bn set in 2007.

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for the majority of semiconductors, which are vital components of all electronic devices. The highly engineered thin disks are produced in diameters of up to 12 inches and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductor devices, or chips, 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 (e.g., as cut, polished, epi).