From 2015 to 2016, just three semiconductor segments showed increased revenues: sensors, discretes and linear. What these products have in common is that they use older technologies. Products which utilize advanced technologies such as Microprocessors, NAND and DRAM require a significant amount of investment dollars from the standpoint of both capital as well as R&D expenditures. This is beginning to limit the number of companies that can participate in high-end, advanced technology manufacturing.
There is a significant amount of activity and opportunity for products utilizing existing fabs with proven technology. IoT requires billions of sensors to collect information. Biometrics such as fingerprint sensors and heart monitors is a key ingredient to improved security and health wearables. Sensors and MEMS are ideal for smaller wafer sizes because most of these products have small die and do not require the most advanced tools.
The high cost of advanced technologies has led innovative companies to focus on products that can utilize existing fab capacity. This innovation has led to new products with cost-effective manufacturing options.
This report takes a closer look at the demand for products that continue to utilize mature technologies and are produced on wafers smaller than 300mm. Unit growth, wafer demand and fab capacity impacts are all addressed.