The global semiconductor silicon wafer market size was valued at USD 11.3 billion in 2021. It is estimated to reach USD 15 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 3.6% during the forecast period (2022–2030). An essential component of the semiconductor industry is silicon wafers. They must be purchased in some shape or form by every chipmaker. Chipmakers convert the raw silicon wafers that silicon wafer producers generate and sell to them into chips. It is also projected that rising SSD usage, brought on by cloud computing and high-performance computing trends will increase demand for silicon wafers from the memory sector. Overall, the industry is expected to experience rapid growth over the forecast period. Additionally, the semiconductor industry has significantly benefited from favorable government regulations in developing nations like China, which is anticipated to broaden the semiconductor silicon wafer market's reach throughout the research year.
Get more information on this report Download Sample Report
Growing Semiconductor Adoption in Various Electronic Devices and New Applications
Semiconductors have become a significant component in every electronic device and new application. Owing to trends like digitization, automation, and IoT, the adoption of semiconductor and sensor components has increased in almost every industry. Furthermore, these trends, especially IoT, have also increased the number of semiconductors per electronic device or application. Therefore, most semiconductor vendors are increasingly relying on silicon wafer technology, as these are the primary supporting materials contributing to the improvement of electronic device performance, the miniaturization of electrical equipment, and energy conservation.
Silicon wafers are an incredibly essential material in the automotive field, where they are utilized to reduce environmental impact, enhance safety, and fully automate vehicle operation. Furthermore, they are helping in stabilizing the supply of electric power, mainly to electronic equipment, as power semiconductors can minimize power consumption and accommodate high voltage and high currents. Silicon wafers are also helping to regulate motor drive controls from high to low speeds. They are power-saving transistors, enabling efficient power transfer from generators to transmission lines. Such factors contribute to market growth.
Capacity Expansion and Technological Advancement
The production and demand for silicon wafers are increased by the rising demand for MEMS, IC, discrete semiconductors, power devices, analog optics, and compound semiconductors. Numerous market vendors are being encouraged by this trend to increase their capacity and make investments in new machinery. The number of semiconductor volume fabs has also grown during the past ten years.
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) recently predicted that exports of silicon wafers for semiconductor applications would surpass 17,600 million square inches (MSI) by 2025, up from 11,810 MSI in 2019. In fact, in the past decade, discrete components manufacturers alone had over 44% of the wafer capacities, creating a massive demand for consumables. Furthermore, this expansion motivates the growing need for miniaturization in electronics (due to the demand for thinner wafers that consume less power). Again, growing technological advancements, like silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and 3DIC TSV), are also expanding the scope of customized wafers, thus driving the market's overall expansion.
Rising Environmental Concerns
About 2 million integrated circuits are typically produced monthly in a typical semiconductor facility, using more than 20 million gallons of water. Industrial wastewater must ultimately be discharged for this to occur. Wafer producers also use a lot of hazardous chemicals that are bad for the environment. As a result, producers are receiving a lot of criticism from authorities and environmentalists, which is anticipated to limit the long-term growth potential of semiconductor wafers globally.
Need for Advanced Wafers in Consumer Electronics
The market potential for a newer range of items employed in next-generation microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and sensors has increased due to efforts to improve silicon wafers' technical performance. Additionally, the use of sophisticated wafers in consumer electronics is expanding. Numerous benefits for memory and logic circuits support the silicon wafer market's enormous revenue potential. Such factors provide lucrative market opportunities during the forecast period.
The global semiconductor silicon wafer market is segmented by diameter, product, application, and region.
By diameter, the global semiconductor silicon wafer market is segmented into Less Than 150 MM, 200 MM, and 300 MM & Above.
300 MM & Above accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The size of silicon wafers has gradually increased from 25 MM silicon wafers to the largest diameter currently available, which is 450 MM silicon wafers, owing to advancements in silicon wafer manufacturing technology, which are primarily driven by the demands of the manufacturers of integrated circuit chips. The surface area and the number of chips produced from a single silicon wafer increase with wafer diameter. A silicon wafer with more chips will cost the chip manufacturer less per chip. Furthermore, the market is witnessing product innovation, propelling the market growth.
The 200 MM wafers will witness significant demand due to their increasing use in power devices, ICs, LEDs, MEMS, and many other semiconductors and electronic devices. These wafers are affordable and are also easy to integrate into various devices. Hence, small-scale and large-scale electronic manufacturers are increasingly adopting these wafers. These wafers are also increasingly being used in manufacturing appliances that require small die sizes and have a global shipment size in the thousands. LED, RF devices, and power transistors manufacturers use 200 MM silicon wafers.
By product, the global semiconductor silicon wafer market is segmented into Logic, Memory, Analog, and Others.
Memory semiconductors account for the largest market share and are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period. Memory devices find increasing applications in memory-based electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, tablets, medical devices, digital cameras, smart cards, communication equipment, and other digital electronic devices. Key drivers impacting market growth for memory devices include the rising use of smartphones, feature phones, and tablets; growing demand for low-power memory requirements in portable wireless devices; and rising demand for Solid State Drives (SSD) in big data storage applications. Another technology that significantly needs memory items is the tablet computer. Over the projected period, there will be a rise in demand for memory ICs due to the growing popularity of tablet PCs.
Logic semiconductors are used to process digital data to control an electronic system's operation. Digital circuits are often built from logic gates (small microelectronic circuits) and can be easily used to create combinational logic. A trivial microcontroller can be programmed to make the embedded system in the existence of a lot of complex sequences or algorithms. The growth of these devices is highly dependent on the demand from the automotive and consumer electronics industry. The continuous increase in the need for consumer electronics devices is a significant growth driver for the logic semiconductor market. In such regard, lesser power consumption and technological advancements drive increased adoption of logic semiconductors.
By application, the global semiconductor silicon wafer market is segmented into Consumer Electronics, Industrial, Telecommunications, Automotive, and Others.
Consumer Electronics account for the largest market share and are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.6% during the forecast period. In the current market environment, ICs and other semiconductor devices made of silicon materials are still used in a sizeable fraction of electronic products, such as laptops, smartphones, computers, etc. Additionally, Apple pledged to create 2.4 million jobs over the next five years in 2019 and committed to contributing USD 350 billion to the US economy by 2023. This commitment included new investments and expenditures with domestic companies for supply and manufacturing. Considering the developments, the demand for these semiconductor silicon wafers is expected to be significant during the forecast period.
Industrial applications of semiconductor silicon wafers include manufacturing, food processing or storage, chemical, petrochemical, and power plants. The Industrial 4.0 revolution is driving a rise in the need for industrial sensor applications as machines become more intelligent and intuitive. With the ability to autonomously monitor their usage, performance, and failure, the new devices are to be developed to be more effective, safe, and versatile. Therefore, these applications stimulate the need for sensitive sensors, expanding the market.
APAC Surpasses Other Regions
By region, the global semiconductor silicon wafer market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Regional Growth Insights Request Sample Pages
Asia-Pacific accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period. Due to the cyclical resumption of growth in the semiconductor industry and the construction of manufacturing facilities in the area, the Asia-Pacific semiconductor silicon wafer market is anticipated to have strong growth. The financial support that Asian governments provide to this business is one of the main drivers of its expansion. The National Integrated Circuit Sector Investment Fund, which China established, promotes the semiconductor industry's growth through regional initiatives and research. Due to China's fast expansion, the semiconductor manufacturing sector is crucial in propelling national economic growth. As a result of the advancement and widespread use of semiconductor technology, social and economic development, and scientific and technological progress have all been substantially accelerated.
North America is estimated to generate USD 2 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 3%. This is attributed to the region's strong fabless semiconductor industry. Fabless businesses produce only chip designs and sell them without a fabrication facility. The area has seen increased activity related to setting up semiconductor wafer foundries. After the most critical contract chipmaker in the world revealed its intention to establish an advanced 5nm wafer plant in Arizona, several Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) suppliers stated their intention to join TSMC in the US in November 2020. Aside from this, the United States is home to some of the biggest automotive companies in the world, which are investing in electric cars and the possibility of self-driving cars, which require high-performance ICs. This is one of the main drivers of the market for silicon wafers for semiconductors.
Europe owns the third-largest market share. The European countries have been experiencing increased demand for electric vehicles, clean energy, expanding data centers, 5G, and automated manufacturing, which requires electronic components and thus is expected to drive the demand for the semiconductor silicon wafer market. Furthermore, many companies have been collaborating to facilitate the development of novel devices and applications for expediting material development cycles for biometric authentication and facial recognition applications along with emerging needs of industrial, automotive, and consumer electronics markets. EV Group, a wafer bonding and lithography equipment vendor, and DELO, a leading manufacturer of high-tech industrial adhesives, collaborate to facilitate wafer-level optics adoption for mass markets. Such trends fuel the market growth.