SANTA CLARA, Calif. A sudden shift towards 300-mm chip manufacturing is causing shortages of 300-mm silicon wafers in the market right now, according to analysts from VLSI Research Inc.
"Supply is very tight for 300-mm silicon wafers," said G. Dan Hutcheson, president of VLSI Research. "There's going to be supply constraints," he said during a presentation at the firm's headquarters in Santa Clara on Tuesday (Dec. 16). VLSI Research also increased its IC and fab-tool forecasts as well.
On the silicon wafer front, there's more good and bad news for chip makers, which are suddenly seeing a pick up in demand for their products after a two-year slump in the marketplace. A shortage of 300-mm silicon wafers could impact chip makers and their ability to deliver product in the worldwide electronics supply chain.
Chip makers, who have long-term supply contracts with silicon wafer vendors, face little or no impact from the 300-mm substrate shortages, according to Hutcheson. But chip makers with little or no leverage with the wafer makers could face an assortment of problems in terms of product supply, he said.
In response, several silicon wafer makers are ramping up production. Silicon wafer supplier Wacker Siltronic has started making 300-mm diameter wafers at facility in Freiberg, in the state of Saxony.