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2021 Wafer Demand to Increase 12.1%, Says Semico Research

Increased chip demand is being driven by better-than-expected orders for all types of electronics, from next generation smartphones to electric vehicles. Memory and certain logic chips are in tight supply. In a few semiconductor product groups, unit sales are significantly up with ASPs declining, signaling some inventory build-up. At the same time, semiconductor manufacturers are making production adjustments in order to return to previous output levels. However, some OEMs are also double ordering certain products which makes the situation appear worse than it really is. A new report from Semico Research, Semico Wafer Demand Q2 2021 Highlights (MA111-21), forecasts wafer demand for 2021 to increase 12.1%.
There are challenges on the semiconductor supply side that will place some restraints on semiconductor unit sales in 2021. As electric vehicles and AI continue to penetrate the general consumer market, there are reports of chip shortages. Current semiconductor manufacturing capacity is finding it challenging to keep up with demand.
"Reduced restaurant, travel and entertainment spending in 2020 increased disposable income for the potential purchase of more expensive electronic devices in 2021 including consumer electronics and electric vehicles, says Joanne Itow, Manager Manufacturing Research for Semico. "Semiconductors used in sensing and monitoring situations are expected to remain in high demand through 2021. Semico believes work-at-home, video meetings, telemedicine, and consumer streaming reinforce the need to roll out 5G which will be a driver of new electronic applications."
Additional key findings include:

  • Semico’s unit forecast of 15% growth for 2021 reflects a significantly higher growth rate compared to the 2.3% unit increase in 2020.
  • NAND revenues are expected to continue on their growth path with a 13.7% increase in revenues in 2021.
  • Total semiconductor revenue per wafer is expected to increase 1.7% in 2021. Memory, Logic and Analog products are all contributing to the increase.
  • Analog revenue per wafer declined in 2020, however, it still maintains a higher than average and very stable revenue per wafer.

Semico Research's report, Semico Wafer Demand Q2 2021 Highlights (MA111-21), includes an Excel spreadsheet which provides wafer demand by 18 product categories and 14 technology nodes over a 15-year time frame from 2010 to 2025. There is also a summary write-up which provides insight into the recent trends for key semiconductor product categories.

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