Preliminary research of Fairfield Market Research indicates a promising growth outlook for global silicon wafer market during the course of next few years.
Growing Digitization Remains a Key Factor Driving Silicon Wafer Market Growth
Semiconductors are a major integral part of new technologies and breakthroughs and advancements in this field have embossed a direct influence on several downstream technologies. Silicon wafers are the engine of new technologies and digital transformation reshaping operations and business activities. They play a crucial role in the development of consumer electronics and other microelectronic devices. This is further influenced by the growing penetration of 5G technology coupled with increasing adoption of smart consumer electronic devices. That said, increasing electronic mobility in the semiconductor space with growing digitization has paved new opportunities for the growth of the silicon wafer market.
Additionally, companies are investing in research to develop silicon wafers as an effort to tap opportunities in the energy & defence, automotive and telecommunication applications. Silicon wafer manufacturers are also being price competitive to gain buffer growth by making available high quality wafers to meet their growing demand. In addition, companies are also investing in expansion of their manufacturing capacities to meet surging demand from aerospace and consumer electronics industries. For instance, in March 2022, an announcement was made by SK Siltron Co. that revealed the company’s plan to invest US$1.05 Tn to expand its 300 mm silicon wafer manufacturing facilities in the next three years and start mass production by 2024. Such developments and strategic initiatives by key players are expected to augur well for the growth of the silicon wafer market.
Silicon Wafer Market to Eye New Record Post-COVID-19 Impact
During the COVID-19 pandemic, due to regulatory restrictions, businesses worldwide went through a rough patch. Amidst this scenario, there were negative ramifications affecting business activity in silicon wafer market. In wake of this negative impact, the shipments of silicon wafers fell drastically in first quarter of 2020 as compared to 2019. For instance, according to SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International), in the first quarter of 2020, shipments of silicon materials were 3,051 million square inches, which reduced to 2,920 million square inches (MSI) in Q1 of 2020. However, with lifting of regulations and improving business scenario, the silicon wafer shipments picked up steam in 2021 with an increase of 14% with a rise in revenue by 13% touching US$ 12 billion the year as compared to 2020, as per Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International.
Total shipments of silicon wafers (excluding solar applications) in 2020 were 12,407 million square inches which increased to reach 14,165 million square inches in 2021 to meet increasing demand from the semiconductor industry. According to SEMI, silicon wafers of sizes 150 mm, 200 mm and 300 mm witnessed strong demand contributing to the increasing revenue that crossed US$ 12,617 million in 2021. Moreover, in the first two quarters of 2022, the shipments of silicon wafers touched 7,383 million square inches, a 512 MSI increase as compared to Q1 and Q2 of 2021. In this backdrop, recovering from the worldwide crisis caused by the pandemic, the silicon wafer market is likely to set new revenue records in the forthcoming years.
Research in Nanotechnology Emphasizing Development of Thin Wafers for Solar Cells to Boost Silicon Wafer Market
Thin silicon wafers hold high potential in efficiently trapping light in solar cells. These silicon wafers are usually 2-10um structures in pyramid form that are integrated in the surface of the solar cell. Light trapping in solar cells has been previously achieved by using thin film cells. This is carried out by developing a wavelength scale texturing on the substrate and later depositing thin film cell. Although this was achievable, texturing of substrates is challenging as, to save material costs of the absorber, cells are developed thinner which can impact the morphology of the cell. In this background, companies are investing in research and development activities in the nanotechnology space to facilitate management of light in solar cells. That said, by laying forth a huge scenario for plasmonics, and photonic structures, growing use of nanotechnology in energy is expected to pave new potential avenues for the use of silicon wafers in solar cells.
North America to Present Momentous Opportunities to Silicon Wafer Market Players
Developed nations in North America region are expected to significantly contribute towards growth of the silicon wafer market. This is mainly due to the presence of fabless semiconductor companies in the region that are the primary customers of silicon wafer players. In addition, the electronics sector in North America has been witnessing steady growth and accounts for a significant share in enterprises that operate in the fabless and the design space. Moreover, revenue generated by the semiconductor and electronics industry has been momentous and expected to increase in the coming years. For instance, according to US Census Bureau, revenue from semiconductors and electronic components in 2019 stood at US$100 Bn and is expected to increase to cross US$105 Bn by end of 2023. This can be attributed towards increasing sales of smartphones and are a major contributor towards this revenue growth from the consumer electronics space. In addition, major automotive players have established their base in the region and are investing in manufacturing of electric vehicles and self-driven cars. This has accelerated the demand for high performance integrated circuits, in turn driving the growth of the silicon wafer market in the region. That said, manufacturers of silicon wafers can expect a stream of opportunities from North America in the forthcoming years.
Silicon Wafer Market: Competitive Landscape
A few of the major players in the silicon wafer market include Shin-Etsu Handotai, Globalwafers Co. Ltd., Siltronic AG, SK Siltron Co. Ltd., SUMCO Corporation, NanoSilicon Inc., Advantec Co. Ltd., West European Silicon Technologies B.V., and Mimasu Semiconductor Industry Co. Ltd.
The Global Silicon Wafer Market Is Segmented As Below
By End Use Industry
Key Elements Included In The Study: Global Silicon Wafer Market
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