It is time for the domestic replacement of “stuck neck” semiconductor silicon wafers

Silicon is the most important material in the semiconductor industry, accounting for about one-third of the value of the entire wafer fabrication material. At present, more than 90% of integrated circuit chips are manufactured with silicon wafers as substrates, and the entire semiconductor industry is built on silicon materials.

Silicon wafer market situation

Semiconductor silicon wafers require a lot of investment and a long R&D cycle, which is an industry with extremely high technical and financial barriers. Due to the long time for downstream customer certification, silicon wafer manufacturers need a long time to accumulate technology and experience to improve product quality, meet customer needs, and obtain customer certification.

At present, the global silicon wafer market is in an oligopoly situation. In 2018, the market shares of the top five companies in the global semiconductor wafer industry by sales were mostly concentrated in Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and South Korea. The global market share of the top five companies was close to 90%, and the market concentration was high.

It is time for the domestic replacement of “stuck neck” semiconductor silicon wafers

In recent years, the global semiconductor wafer shipment area has grown steadily. In 2018, the global semiconductor wafer shipment area reached 12.73 billion square inches, a year-on-year increase of 7.79%; the sales amount was 11.38 billion US dollars, an increase of 30.65% year-on-year in 2017, and the unit price per square inch was 0.79%. $89, a 21% increase from 2017.

At present, 12-inch and 8-inch silicon wafers are the mainstream in the market. In 2018, the average global demand for 12-inch silicon wafers is 6-6.5 million pieces/month, and the average 8-inch silicon wafer demand is 5.5-6 million pieces/month. 12-inch silicon wafers are mainly driven by NAND and DRAM demand, and 8-inch silicon wafers are mainly driven by the demand for power semiconductors in automotive electronics and industrial applications. In the long run, 12-inch and 8-inch silicon wafers are still the mainstream of the market.

In China, large-scale silicon wafer production is actively deployed, and the planned production capacity is large. As of the end of 2018, according to relevant data, the production capacity of 8-inch silicon wafers has reached 1.39 million pieces/month, and the production capacity of 12-inch silicon wafers has reached 285,000 pieces/month. It is estimated that the actual monthly demand for 8-inch silicon wafers in 2020 will reach 1.725 million pieces, and the actual demand for 12-inch silicon wafers in 2020 will be 3.4067 million pieces/month. In order to meet the domestic demand for large silicon wafers, my country is actively deploying the production of large silicon wafers. At present, there have been more than 20 large-scale silicon wafer projects announced, and the total investment is expected to exceed 140 billion yuan. By 2023, the total planned production capacity of 12-inch silicon wafers will exceed 6.5 million pieces.

From the perspective of domestic silicon wafer manufacturers, at present, domestic silicon wafer manufacturers mainly include Shanghai Xinsheng, Zhonghuan Co., Ltd., Jinruihong and other enterprises. Shanghai Xinsheng 12-inch silicon wafer products have passed the certification of Hualiwei and SMIC, and are currently in a leading position in China.

It is time for the domestic replacement of “stuck neck” semiconductor silicon wafers

It is time for the domestic substitution of silicon wafers for semiconductors

According to relevant data, the size of my country’s semiconductor market in 2018 was about 155 billion US dollars, with a global market share of 15.3%, higher than 12.6% in 2013. It is expected that this ratio will further increase to 20.5% in 2023. The west wind is spreading from the east to the east, the global semiconductor industry is shifting to China, and the rise of domestic silicon wafers is just at that time.

Generally speaking, the larger the size of the silicon wafer, the more chips can be produced from a single silicon wafer, which can effectively reduce the loss of silicon wafers and dilute the cost of silicon wafers, but the larger the size, the more difficult it is to manufacture. 8. 12 inches is the mainstream silicon wafer size in the current market, accounting for more than 90% of the market share of the silicon wafer market.

It is time for the domestic replacement of “stuck neck” semiconductor silicon wafers

Supply: At present, only a few companies in my country, such as Zhonghuan Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Xinsheng, have achieved mass production of 8-inch silicon wafers. About 80% of 8-inch silicon wafers are imported, and 12-inch silicon wafers are basically all imported.

Demand side: Fabs are direct users of semiconductor wafers. In recent years, the production capacity of my country’s fabs has grown rapidly. As of July 2018, the total production capacity of 8-inch fabs under construction and planned in China is 547,000 wafers per month, and the total production capacity of 12-inch fabs is 1.085 million wafers per month, the supply and demand are seriously unbalanced, and domestic large silicon wafers are urgently needed to break the situation.

In 2017, Zhonghuan Co., Ltd. successfully realized the industrialization of large-diameter area fused silicon single crystal technology. It is the first company in China that can provide 8-inch area fused silicon polishing wafers in batches, and successfully realized the domestic substitution of 8-inch silicon wafers. At present, the company has formed a monthly production capacity of 80,000 6-inch silicon wafers and 50,000 8-inch silicon wafers, and the revenue of semiconductor materials is increasing.

In terms of production capacity layout, Zhonghuan’s semiconductor production capacity is concentrated in Inner Mongolia, Tianjin and Jiangsu. According to its semi-annual report (2019), in the first half of this year, the 8-inch silicon wafer expansion project at the Tianjin plant has achieved the designed capacity, and the 12-inch pilot line project also started production in February. An 8-inch production line at the Yixing plant in Jiangsu will be put into operation in the second half of the year, and the 12-inch production line will be put into operation in the first quarter of next year. As the production capacity under construction is put into operation, the company’s semiconductor material revenue will also grow rapidly.

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Author: Yoyokuo