Favourable forecast

The leading suppliers of silicon wafer forecast year-end wafer shipments for 2005 to be two percent higher than 2004 shipments.

According to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) Consensus Forecast, total wafer shipments will increase by about seven percent in 2006. The Consensus Forecast, obtained through surveying SMG members, provides a silicon wafer shipment outlook for 2005 through 2008.

The survey results forecast silicon shipments to reach 6,385 million square inches in 2005, 6,862 million square inches in 2006, 7,287 million square inches in 2007, and 8,192 million square inches in 2008.

“While 2004 was a record year for silicon shipments, volumes decreased significantly in the fourth quarter of last year,” said Makoto Tsukada, chairman SEMI SMG and general manager of Shin- Etsu Handotai.

“Now, we are seeing a recovery from that slowdown and we expect to see incremental year-on-year growth continuing to 2007, with anticipated growth in 2008 reaching double digits,” continued Tsukada. “This strong growth will be driven by 300mm, which by 2006 could represent 25 percent of total volume of silicon shipments.”