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NOVEMBER 2017          TAP TIMES          -13-

        Outlook for 450mm wafers fades                          As shown in the chart below, 300mm wa-
            as 200/300mm fabs expand                            fers represented 63.6 percent of worldwide
                                                                IC fab capacity at the end of 2016 and are
                                                                projected to reach 71.2 percent by the end
                                                                of 2021.
        SCOTTSDALE,  Arizona—A total  of  25
        new 300mm wafer fabs is expected be-                    This figure translates into a compound an-
        tween  2016 and 2021 as the outlook                     nual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1 percent in
        for 450mm wafers fades, according to                    silicon area for processing by plant equip-
        IC Insights.
                                                                ment in the five-year period.

                                                                                       98 300mm fabs
                                                                                       The report’s count of 98
                                                                                       production-class 300mm
                                                                                       fabs  in  use  worldwide
                                                                                       at  the  end  of  2016  ex-
                                                                                       cludes  numerous  R&D
                                                                                       front-end lines and a few
                                                                                       high-volume         300mm
                                                                                       plants that make non-IC
                                                                                       semiconductors (such as
                                                                                       power transistors).

                                                                                       Currently,     there     are
                                                                                       eight 300mm wafer fabs
                                                                                       that have opened or are
                                                                                       scheduled  to open  in
                                                                                       2017, which is the high-
                                                                                       est  number  in  one  year
                                                                                       since  2014  when  seven
                                                                                       were  added,  says  the
                                                                Global Wafer Capacity report.
        450mm wafers “going nowhere”
        With  the  prospects  of  large  450mm  wa-
        fers going nowhere, IC manufacturers are                Nine to open in 2018
        increasing  efforts  to maximize  fabrication           Another  nine  are  scheduled  to  open  in
        plants using 300mm and 200mm diameter                   2018.   Virtually all these new fabs will be
        silicon substrates.
                                                                for DRAM, flash memory or foundry capac-
                                                                ity, according to the report.
        The  number  of  300mm  wafer  production-
        class fabs in operation worldwide is expect-            Even  though  300mm  wafers  are  now the
        ed to increase each year between now and                majority wafer size, in terms of total sur-
        2021 from 98 last year to 123 in 2021 ac-               face area and actual wafer quantity, there
        cording to IC Insights’ Global Wafer Capac-             is still much life remaining in 200mm fabs,
        ity 2017-2021 report.                                   the report concluded. Next page
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