Recently, the shortage of 8-inch wafer foundry capacity has further intensified, and the market has fully opened the mode of price increase. It is reported that in order to ensure sufficient capacity, many IC design manufacturers have begun to actively plan the production capacity for next year, and some long-term orders even go down to the second quarter of 2021. Some IC design manufacturers said that the current wafer foundry capacity is very tight, and the delivery time has been extended a lot. In the past, the delivery period was about two months, but now it has reached four months.

, especially the 8 inch capacity, is the most popular. Especially in the mainland China market, because the number of IC design enterprises is large, most of them are mainly made of mature process technology chips with 90nm and above. These chips mainly use 8 inch wafer foundry production. Therefore, although these IC designers are not big enough, the total quantity is considerable. A huge demand for OEM has been formed. In order to seize the production capacity, there are many fierce and even tragic competition stories. < / P > < p > in fact, the shortage of 8-inch wafer foundry capacity has lasted for several years, and now it has become increasingly intense. With such market demand, the major wafer manufacturers, especially the top ones in the world, have been expanding their production capacity. < p > < p > this week, foreign media reported that Samsung Electronics, the world’s second largest wafer foundry, is considering investment in automation expansion of its 8-inch wafer plant to improve production efficiency in view of the shortage of 8-inch production capacity. < / P > < p > it is reported that Samsung’s 12 inch wafer production line is fully automated, that is, moving the crystal box in a dust-free room with the help of a transportation system erected at a height. However, the 8-inch wafers are still transported by the staff in a van. Not only Samsung, but other foundry companies also operate in this way. < / P > < p > such automation upgrades require a large amount of investment. According to Samsung’s estimation, it may require an additional investment of about 8.7 million US dollars if we want to import automation transportation equipment in all 8-inch fabs. Moreover, such investment is also risky, because even if such a large amount of money is spent to transform the old production line, it is still uncertain whether the matching benefits can be produced. However, as the 8-inch wafer foundry business accounts for a high proportion of Samsung’s revenue, the company is still actively promoting the transformation project. < p > < p > Samsung is not an example. In recent years, manufacturers including TSMC, liandian, world advanced, SMIC international and Huahong semiconductor have been looking for various ways to expand 8-inch wafer foundry capacity. < / P > < p > it’s not just now that Samsung started expanding its 8-inch capacity years ago. In addition to actively striving for advanced process orders, its 8-inch production line in Giheung, South Korea, will gradually contribute to Samsung’s wafer foundry revenue, so as to help the company achieve its goal of 25% global foundry market share by 2023. In December 2018, TSMC announced a new 8-inch wafer plant in Tainan. This is the first time TSMC has built an 8-inch plant in 15 years since the establishment of the 8-inch plant in Songjiang, Shanghai in 2003. TSMC has been outsourcing some 8-inch capacity to the world’s advanced. According to TSMC’s plan, the new 8-inch plant will be completed in 2020 and put into mass production. Wei Zhejia, President of the company, said that the new 8-inch factory is mainly to meet the needs of customers for special processes, and its main products include analog chips, sensors, drive chips and power devices such as MOSFET. From the application level, we can see that the chips produced are mainly analog sensing, power and power applications, which are the necessary chip categories for IOT sensing devices, electric vehicles and energy-saving equipment. < / P > < p > in the first quarter of this year, the production capacity of united power was about 940000 pieces. Since then, it has been very tense. Similar to TSMC, the capacity of lianpower has reached the limit, and it is difficult to receive more orders in a short period of time. In recent years, the capacity expansion of liandian in the mainland has been frequent, especially for the 8-inch factories and ships in Suzhou. It is reported that the monthly production capacity of Hechuan has increased from 64000 pieces the year before last year to 77000 pieces at the end of last year. < p > < p > in the third quarter of 2020, the operation performance of united power was very eye-catching, the capacity utilization rate was close to full load, and the single quarter revenue reached NT $44.87 billion, a quarter increase of 1.09%, slightly better than expected, setting a record high. < / P > < p > driven by the demand for panel driven IC and power management chips, it is estimated that the price of 8-inch wafer foundry will increase by 5% in the fourth quarter, and this kind of capacity shortage will continue until next year. Liandian shares opened higher today, rising 0.95 yuan to 31.6 yuan. < / P > < p > the world’s advanced 8-inch wafer production capacity in the fourth quarter of 2019 is about 630000 pieces, which increased to about 730000 pieces in the first quarter of this year, and has been fully loaded since then. For the world’s advanced companies, among the 8-inch wafer OEM orders, the demand for 4K / 8K large-size panel driven IC is the most prominent, and the demand for TV panel PMIC wafer OEM orders is also significantly revived. The reason why it has invested more than 8 inches in Singapore in the fourth quarter of last year is also worth noting. In terms of power crystal, although it is neither the main force of global advanced process nor the typical representative of 8-inch special process, the company was once the largest DRAM factory in Taiwan, which made a lot of profits and suffered great losses. In 2012, due to the impact of DRAM price decline, the net value per share became negative. After that, the company readjusted its operation strategy and transformed into a wafer foundry, except for the replacement In addition to DRAM, Kingston and jinghaoke are also engaged in wafer foundry business such as LCD driver IC, power management IC, CMOS image sensor, etc. < p > < p > in 2013, Lijing turned from deficit to profit and maintained profit for 5 consecutive years. As of the first half of 2018, the company’s capacity is still in short supply. Based on its years of DRAM technology and manufacturing skills, Lijing has turned from deficit to profit very quickly after transforming into a wafer foundry. This also shows how delicious it was to be a memory manufacturer and a wafer foundry with mature technology at that time. < / P > < p > the 8-inch wafer capacity utilization rate of SMIC and Huahong semiconductor is also very high. Among them, SMIC’s is more than 95%, while Huahong semiconductor’s is not less than 97%. < p > < p > because SMIC and Huahong semiconductor are mainly based on mature process nodes with 40nm or above, their 12 inch wafer production capacity is not high. They are mainly 8-inch wafer, especially Huahong semiconductor. The company is famous for providing special process OEM, which can be seen from its revenue: the total revenue of Huahong semiconductor in 2019 is 932 million US dollars, including Shanghai three The total revenue of the eight inch plant is $925 million. < / P > < p > SMIC’s 8-inch production capacity is also fully loaded. The company plans to expand its 8-inch production capacity this year. According to the plan, it is expected to increase the production capacity of 30000 pieces per month in its three production bases in Tianjin, Shanghai and Shenzhen. < / P > < p > to sum up, in the past two years, although the 8-inch wafer foundry capacity has been very tight, this situation has eased with the expansion of the capacity of major generation plants. The market sees the huge application space of 8-inch, which makes some old production capacity resume production, and many new 8-inch production lines around the world are under construction or have been put into production. What’s more, manufacturers are more rational in the face of 12 inch production line investment, and are no longer as crazy as in previous years. However, with the passage of time and the explosion of application demand, especially the outbreak of CIS sensor in 2019, the capacity demand of 8-inch wafer foundry has been increased by leaps and bounds, which makes the capacity expansion speed of major manufacturers far lower than the growth rate of market demand. In addition, influenced and restricted by historical development and various objective factors, the pace of capacity expansion also presents a state of being more than capable. The main reasons are as follows. < / P > < p > first of all, there is a strong demand for analog chip applications. With the gradual landing of the Internet of things, 5g and new energy vehicles, the demand for power devices (mainly IGBT and MOSFET), CIS sensor, OLED panel driver IC, and TWS headset Bluetooth chip is quite strong, which provides more business opportunities for 8-inch wafers. < p > < p > secondly, 8-inch wafer foundry capacity and delivery time have been relatively tight. The 8-inch line production capacity of major wafer foundry plants is generally tight. Moreover, most of the analog and discrete device markets are dominated by IDM manufacturers, such as Infineon and Texas Instruments (TI). However, due to limited capacity, these IDMS usually outsource orders to foundry factories. < / P > < p > at the same time, in the process of switching from 6-inch to 8-inch, some IDM’s main production capacity is focused on the 12 inch line, and there is no additional 8-inch line, so the 8-inch product has to be outsourced. As a result, most of IDM’s production expansion rate is lower than the growth rate of demand, and the proportion of outsourcing will be higher and higher, which will aggravate the situation that the supply of OEM orders is in short supply.

, there are also insufficient supply of related equipment (many equipment factories no longer produce 8 inch wafer processing equipment. Therefore, the 8 inch wafer equipment popular in the world, especially in Chinese mainland), and the limited output of 8 inch silicon wafers are also the reasons for the tight market capacity. < / P > < p > the booming demand side and strong growth, as well as the shortage of supply side (silicon wafer, wafer foundry capacity and equipment supply, etc.) have jointly created a situation of short supply in the 8-inch wafer Market in the past two years. From the current and foreseeable future situation, it is difficult to alleviate this situation. However, from another perspective, this hot market shows the positive and dynamic side of the semiconductor industry, which can attract more attention, increase confidence, and have more room for operation. These are beneficial to China’s semiconductor industry. Global Tech

By ibmwl