Silicon Wafer Shipments Drop to Lowest Level Since Fourth Quarter of 2017, Says SEMI

MILPITAS, Calif. — Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments dropped 5.6 percent during the first quarter 2019 when compared to the fourth quarter 2018 and are now at their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2017 after silicon wafer shipments for the most recent quarter declined 1 percent quarter-over-quarter, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.SEMI Logo

Total silicon wafer area shipments fell to 3,051 during the first quarter from 3,234 million square inches in the previous quarter.


“Global silicon wafer shipment volumes started the year at a slightly lower level when compared to the historic highs experienced last year,” said Neil Weaver, chairman SEMI SMG and Director, Product Development and Applications Engineering of Shin Etsu Handotai America.

“Some seasonality has returned and some inventory adjustments are being made. Despite this, silicon shipments remain at elevated levels.”


Silicon Area Shipment Trends – Semiconductor Applications Only

Millions of Square Inches

  4Q2017 1Q2018 2Q2018 3Q2018 4Q2018 1Q2019
Total 2,977 3,084 3,160 3,255 3,234 3,051

Source: SEMI, (, April 2019

All data cited in this release includes polished silicon wafers, such as virgin test wafers and epitaxial silicon wafers, as well as non-polished silicon wafers shipped to end users.

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for semiconductors, which, in turn, are vital components of virtually all electronics goods, including computers, telecommunications products, and consumer electronics. The highly engineered thin, round disks are produced in various diameters – from one inch to 12 inches – and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductor devices, or chips, are fabricated.

The Silicon Manufacturing Group (SMG) is a sub-committee of the SEMI Electronic Materials Group (EMG) and is open to SEMI members involved in manufacturing polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon or silicon wafers (e.g., as cut, polished, epi, etc.). The purpose of the group is to facilitate collective efforts on issues related to the silicon industry including the development of market information and statistics about the silicon industry and the semiconductor market.

More information on the SEMI Worldwide Silicon Wafer Shipment Statistics are available on the SEMI website.

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