LONDON Rising wafer prices, longer lead times and, in some cases, wafer rationing, characterized foundry chip supply in the first quarter of 2010, according to a survey conducted by the Global Semiconductor Alliance.
The median value paid for 300-mm wafers in the first quarter of 2010 jumped to $3,200, a quarterly sequential increase of 10.5 percent, according to the GSA, which is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the semiconductor supply chain.
The survey showed that 200-mm diameter wafers also commanded a higher price, climbing to a median value of $870 in 1Q10, up 4.2 percent from a median value of $835 in the previous quarter. However, the price paid for production on 150-mm diameter wafers fell dramatically, according to the survey. The wafer size commanded a median price of $403 in Q1 down from $501 in 4Q09 and down from $570 in 3Q09.
The data comes from the GSA's Q2 wafer fabrication and back-end pricing survey which is conducted in April and May and represent purchases made between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2010. Some 99 companies participated in the survey with information on wafer prices and 78 provided information on assembly pricing. Of the 99, 90 companies were fabless and 9 were IDMs, the GSA said.
Accompanying the increased pricing for wafers an increased percentage of participants indicated that their foundry suppliers are extending lead times. Some 71 percent of the survey respondents said foundry lead times were extending compared with 45 percent of the survey respondents who held that opinion in the previous quarter's survey
According to Q2 2010 survey participants, the overall average lead time in Q1 was 12.0 weeks, which is 0.8 weeks greater than the overall average lead time recorded in the previous quarterly survey. The respondents also indicated that lead times have increased 27.7 percent compared with six months earlier and 39.7 percent compared with a year before.
Of the 99 companies that answered the question asking if they were receiving the number of wafers they requested, 30 responded that they were not. The proportion of their requested wafers varied between 90 percent and 30 percent, the peak response was 9 companies who said they were being allocated 80 percent of their requested capacity.
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