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2021 Wafer Demand to Increase 8.2%, Says Semico Research

There are challenges on the semiconductor supply side that will place some restraints on semiconductor 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. A new report from Semico Research, Semico Wafer Demand Q1 2021 Highlights (MA110-21), forecasts wafer demand for 2021 to increase 8.2% in 2021. That follows a 4.8% rise in wafer demand for 2020.

"Semico’s outlook for semiconductor sales includes several areas of growth as semiconductor manufacturers are rolling out new products incorporating artificial intelligence. These products require both the most advanced technologies for AI training functions as well as potentially high-volume manufacturing capabilities for edge devices," says Joanne Itow, Manager Manufacturing Research. "On the flipside, there are some concerns relating to slower worldwide economic growth and a chip shortage that is impacting the electronic supply chain. Semico believes the manufacturing capacity issues will be short-lived and remains optimistic for future growth."

Additional key findings include:

  •  Total wafer demand in 2021 is expected reach 120.4 million 300mm wafer equivalents.
  • In 2021, NAND wafer demand is expected to increase 8.7% as the market settles in with higher-density NAND.
  • Worldwide auto sales are expected to recover in 2021 and future growth for total MCUs is expected to be positive, primarily related to continued AI and IoT deployment.
  • Automotive MOS Logic wafer demand is expected to increase 18.0% in 2021 after declining 4.6% in 2020.

Semico Research's report, Semico Wafer Demand Q1 2021 Highlights (MA110-21), 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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