KUALA LUMPUR: Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments increased in the first quarter of 2016 (Q1, 2016) to 2,538 million square inches from the fourth quarter of 2015.
The US-based Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers Industry (SEMI) said on Wednesday the shipments rose 1.3% from 2,504 million square inches shipped in Q4, 2015. Shipments are for semiconductor applications only and do not include solar application.
“However, new quarterly total area shipments are 3.8% lower than first quarter 2015 shipments (of 2,637 million sq inches),” said the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.
“After two quarters of negative silicon shipment volume growth, the increase in silicon volume shipments in the most recent quarter is encouraging,” said Dr Volker Braetsch, chairman SEMI SMG and senior vice president of Siltronic AG.
“It remains to be seen if silicon shipment volumes will exceed the record amount shipped last year,” he said.
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.