LONDON – Memory and foundry chip makers dominate the upper echelons of IC manufacturers ranked by 300-mm wafer production capacity, with the top six vendors holding 74.4 percent in 2012, according to market research firm IC Insights.
That level of dominance is expected to remain about the same in 2013 at 74.0 percent although over the longer term IC Insights said it expects manufacturing capacity to consolidate further (see table below).
Samsung was by far the leader in 2012 having about 61 percent more 300-mm capacity than second-place SK Hynix. Intel was the only other company that held a double-digit share of 300-mm capacity at the end of 2012. Assuming Micron is successful in acquiring Elpida some time in 1H13, the combined 300mm wafer capacity of the two companies will make the merged company the second-largest holder of 300-mm capacity in the world behind Samsung.
Of the top ten companies ranked by IC Insights, half are primarily memory suppliers and two are pure-play foundries and one company is focused on microprocessors.
Samsung is expected to maintain its lead in installed capacity through 2017, with aggressive capital spending plans seen over the past few years continuing over the next five years. However, in terms of growth rate, IC Insights expects the largest increase in 300-mm capacity to come from the pure-play foundries—TSMC, GlobalFoundries, UMC, and SMIC. In total, IC Insights expects these four companies to more than double their collective 300-mm wafer starts per month by 2017.
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Top IC manufacturers ranked by installed capacity to manufacture on 300-mm diameter wafers for 2012 and forecast for 2013. Source: IC Insights.
It is not surprising that the memory suppliers lead the way into the larger wafers. Then the foundries follow. The cost of installing 300mm capacity is huge. You have to have the volume to amortize the cost, or you can play the game. Thus the quote "only real men have fabs".
Sounds like you suggest non-memory firms still processing on 200mm. But I can guess that intel production is 100% 300mm at this time, and likely that Intel and TSMC will be first to 450mm, with samsung close behind.