The leading four companies in the global silicon wafers market, namely SUMCO Corporation, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., Siltronic AG, and SK Siltron Co., Ltd., account for a whopping 70.0% share in it. Other key players in the market are Okmetic, Wafer World Inc., Global Wafers Co., Ltd., Silicon Materials Inc., Global Wafers Co., Ltd., Sil'tronix Silicon Technologies, and Wafer Works Corporation.
A study by Transparency Market Research expects the global silicon wafers marketwould tread on steady yet not-so-impressive growth path by registering a CAGR of 6.8% over the course of the forecast period during 2017 and 2025. Rising at this pace, the market is projected to become worth US$14.21 mn by 2025.
The various sizes in which silicon wafers are available in the market are 100mm, 150mm, 200mm, and 300mm and above. Of them, wafers sized 300 mm and above dominated the market with maximum share in 2016. The segment is also predicted to register maximum growth rate in the next couple of years.
From a geographical standpoint, North America plays a pivotal role in the market for silicon wafers. Other major regions in the market are Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. The market in North America is expected to rise at a 6.5% CAGR over the course of the forecast period on account of numerous semiconductor manufacturers – leading consumers of silicon wafers – being domiciled in the region. The market in North America is primarily powered by the U.S. where wafer size of 300mm and above are seeing soaring demand.
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Consumer Electronics Supporting Demand for Silicon Wafers
Silicon wafers are used for the production of semiconductors, which in turn, are used in the manufacture of electronic components that enrich our daily lives. Explains the lead analyst of the report, “The silicon wafer is a thin round disk which comes in different diameters meant to suit various electronic goods. With the skyrocketing demand for consumer electronics, demand for silicon wafers is expected to remain supported in the next couple of years. Silicon wafers find application in RFID, CMOS, MEMS, and other electronic applications.”
Automotive is another segment that is expected to push up demand in the market for silicon wafers. The rising electrification and automation of vehicles have driven up demand for semiconductor ICs for automotive products such as infotainment systems, navigation control, and collision detection systems.
In addition, increasing use of silicon wafers in modern sophisticated technologies, namely the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud, which are seeing uptake in defense and military and commercial applications, are expected to further bring significant growth in the overall market.
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High Initial Capital Poses Challenge to Market
Acting as a headwind to the healthy growth path of the market, buoyed by the flourishing end use segments of automotive and electronics, is the steep upfront investments required to set up manufacturing units. Apart from that, rising market price of 300 mm silicon wafers is hindering the growth of global silicon wafers market too.
This review is based on the findings of a TMR report, titled, “Silicon Wafer Market (Wafer Size – up to 100mm, 150mm, 200mm, and 300mm and above; Device – Logic and Memory, MEMS, Power Devices, RFID and CMOS; Fabrication Method – Horizontal Gradient Freeze and Horizontal Bridgeman Freeze; End-use Industry - Consumer Electronics, Automotive, Defense and Aerospace, and Energy) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2017–2025.”