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Samsung tops list of IC industry capacity leaders

Posted: 16 Jan 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Samsung  wafer capacity  TSMC  IC Insights  Intel 

Samsung has topped the list of IC industry capacity leaders. As of December 2013, Samsung had the most installed wafer capacity with nearly 1.9 million 200mm-equivalent wafers per month, representing 12.6 per cent of the world's total capacity and most of it used for the fabrication of DRAM and flash memory devices.

TSMC ranked No.2 with about 1.5 million wafers per month capacity, or 10 per cent of total worldwide capacity. Following TSMC were memory IC suppliers Micron, Toshiba/SanDisk, and SK Hynix, according to IC Insights list.

With the addition of the Elpida and Rexchip fabs as well as the extra Inotera capacity, Micron became the third-largest wafer capacity holder in the world in 2013 with nearly 1.4 million 200mm-equivalent wafers per month (9.3% of total worldwide capacity). At the end of 2012, Micron had the sixth-largest amount of wafer capacity.

The fourth-largest capacity holder at the end of 2013 was Toshiba with a little under 1.2 million in monthly wafer capacity (8.0% of total worldwide capacity), including a substantial amount of flash memory capacity for joint-investor/partner SanDisk. After Toshiba came another memory IC supplier SK Hynix with a little more than one million wafers/month (7.0% of total worldwide capacity).

Rounding out the top six companies was Intel with 961K 200mm-equivalent wafers per month capacity, or 6.5% of total worldwide capacity. Just two years ago in 2011, Intel was the third-largest capacity leader, but in early 2012 the company reduced its ownership position in IM Flash as well as its wafer output share from its joint venture with Micron.

The three largest pure-play foundries—TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and UMC—are ranked in the top 10 listing of capacity leaders. In total, these three companies have held about 80 per cent of the worldwide pure-play foundry market since 2010. Moreover, these three foundries had a combined capacity of about 2.5 million wafers per month as of December 2013, representing about 17 per cent of the total fab capacity in the world.

The combined capacity of the top-5 leaders accounted for 47 per cent of total worldwide capacity in Dec 2013. At the same time, just over two-thirds (67%) of the world's capacity was represented by the combined capacity of the top-10 leaders, while the top 15 accounted for 76 per cent and the top 25, 85 per cent, of worldwide installed IC capacity in Dec 2013. It should be noted that the shares of these groups have each increased significantly since 2009.

IC Insights believes that the capacity shares of the top 5, 10, 15, and 25 leaders will continue to increase over the next several years as the big get bigger, middle-tier manufacturers merge to consolidate resources and improve competitiveness, and a greater number of mid- to small-size companies move away from in-house IC fabrication and move towards using third-party foundries.

A significant trend with regard to the industry's IC manufacturing base, and a worrisome one from the perspective of companies that supply equipment and materials to chip makers, is that as the industry moves IC fabrication onto larger wafers in bigger fabs, the group of IC manufacturers continues to shrink in number. There are just 36% the number of companies that own and operate 300mm wafer fabs than 200mm fabs and the distribution of worldwide 300mm wafer capacity among those manufacturers is very top-heavy. Essentially, there are only about 15 companies that comprise the entire future total available market (TAM) for leading-edge IC fabrication equipment and materials.

"When 450mm wafer fabrication technology comes into production, this manufacturer group is predicted to shrink even further to a maximum of just 10 companies."

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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