SAN JOSE--Worldwide shipments of blank silicon wafer substrates declined by 14% in the first quarter compared to volumes in Q4 of 2000, said the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) trade group here today.
SEMI's quarterly analysis of wafer material shipments shows 1.25 billion square inches of silicon was shipped in the first three months of 2001, down from 1.45 million square inches in the fourth quarter last year. Wafer silicon shipments were 2% lower in Q1 than volumes in the same three-month period last year, said the trade group.
"The wafer manufacturers are experiencing the effects of the chip inventory overhang impacting their customers and the general slowing in the overall macroeconomic conditions," said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI.
SEMI's data covers shipments of all types of silicon substrates, including polished wafers, "virgin" test wafers, epitaxial silicon wafers, and non-polished silicon wafers shipped by materials suppliers.
During last month's Semicon Europa trade show in Munich, SEMI predicted revenues for blank silicon wafers would grow 2.7% to $7.77 billion in 2001 compared to $7.52 billion in 2000. The forecast also shows wafer substrate sales increasing 5.3% to $8.18 billion in 2002, followed by another 5.8% increase to $8.68 billion in 2003 (see April 27 story).