Wafer Revenue Up In 2002

Worldwide silicon wafer [define] revenue totaled $5.7 billion in 2002 – up 5.2 percent from 2001’s $5.4 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. The industry returned to positive growth in 2002, after suffering through 2001 when revenue declined 31 percent.

Worldwide Silicon and Epitaxial Wafer Manufacturing
End-User Revenue Estimates in 2002 (Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Company 2002
Shin-Etsu Handotai 1,635.9 28.9% 1,500.5 27.9% 9.0%
SUMCO 1,319.3 23.3%
Wacker Siltronic AG* 874.7 15.4% 881.0 16.4% -0.7%
MEMC Electronic Materials* 723.9 12.8% 655.6 12.2% 10.4%
Komatsu Electronic Metals 485.6 8.6% 463.5 8.6% 4.8%
Others 629.0 11.1% 1,886.2 35.0% -66.7%
Total Market 5,668.4 100.0% 5,386.8 100.0% 5.2%
Note: *Results for Wacker Siltronic AG and MEMCO Electronic Materials include sales by the joint venture companies.
Source: Gartner Dataquest (May 2003)

Although the semiconductor [define] industry experienced four consecutive quarters of revenue growth in 2002, it is too soon to deem the industry recovered, reports In-Stat/MDR.

The research finds that the year 2002 ended with revenue 1.3 percent above the 2001 total, however, were it not for a major assist from DRAM [define] (which increased revenue by 36.2 percent due to a rebound in ASP), the year would have ended off by 1.8 percent. An upturn is expected, however, in the second half of 2003 that will result in annual worldwide semiconductor revenue growing by 16.7 percent to $164.2 billion. This will be followed by further growth in 2004 and 2005, before the next cyclical downturn occurs in 2006.

“It is necessary to be cautious, as the outlook for the balance of this year is more uncertain than usual,” says Steve Cullen, a research director with In-Stat/MDR. “First there are the usual problems associated with the recovery from a downturn, and the recent downturn was much more severe than most others, particularly in the Information Technology areas. In addition, with current geopolitical uncertainties, other factors that would normally figure prominently in the outlook (the continued strength of the Chinese economy for example) have been reduced to a secondary status.”

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

  • In the semiconductor industry itself, over-capacity remains a problem. After three consecutive quarters of improvement, wafer fabrication utilization went flat in third quarter 2002 and dropped to 81.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
  • 2004 and most of 2005 are expected to be growth periods, with the growth interrupted late in 2005 when capacity is expected to pull ahead of demand, lowering ASPs and resulting in a 10.6 percent revenue decline in 2006.
  • Asia Pacific was the only region to experience revenue growth in 2002. For the Americas, Europe and Japan, 2002 was a second consecutive down year. The Americas have fared the worst with two consecutive years of double digit declines. A large part of this drop has been due to the wireline networking segment.

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