Global semiconductor production capacity trends: five fabs account for most of the global market

Global semiconductor production capacity trends: five fabs account for most of the global market


SEMI (International semiconductor Industry Association) recently released the latest data on global wafer production capacity, showing that the wafer production capacity in mainland China has doubled in the past five years, accounting for 22.8% of the global total.

Global semiconductor production capacity trends

Recently, in view of the unusual demand situation for semiconductors, ESIA is studying the trends related to the capacity of the global semiconductor production area. The percentages are derived from monthly wafer starts, and capacity is normalized to 200mm wafer equivalent.

The data normalizes the monthly capacity of wafers to 8-inch wafers. The chart shows that all semiconductor-producing regions except mainland China saw their share decline over the five-year period from 2015 to 2020.

Among them, mainland China accounted for 14.4% of global production in 1995 to 22.8% in 2020.

During the same period, Europe has dropped from 9.4% to 7.2%, and the United States has dropped from 12.6% five years ago to 10.6% in 2020.

The second place is Taiwan, China, but it has also dropped slightly from 18.8% in 2015 to 17.8% in 2020.

South Korea ranked third with 15.3%, compared with 18.4% in 2015, and Singapore’s wafer production capacity accounted for 4.7%.

Global semiconductor production capacity trends: five fabs account for most of the global market

The production capacity of the five fabs accounts for the majority of the global market

IC Insights released its new Global Wafer Capacity 2021-2025 report in February of this year. The top five wafer capacity leaders, Samsung, TSMC, Micron, SK Hynix, and Kioxia, have a monthly processing volume of at least 1.5 million wafers.

After entering the top five, other semiconductor leaders saw their wafer capacity decline rapidly. Intel (884K wafers/month), UMC (772K wafers/month), Texas Instruments and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) round out the top 10.

In December 2020, the total production capacity of the top five companies of Samsung, TSMC, Micron, SK Hynix, and Kioxia accounted for 54% of the total global wafer production capacity, an increase of 1 percentage point from 53% in 2019. In contrast, in 2009, the top 10 wafer capacity leaders accounted for 54% of the world’s total capacity, and the top five wafer capacity leaders accounted for 36% of the global capacity.

Global semiconductor production capacity trends: five fabs account for most of the global market

Samsung has the largest installed wafer capacity at 3.1 million 200mm equivalent wafers per month, which accounts for 14.7% of the world’s total capacity.

Capacity growth in 2020 appears to be lower than expected as the company’s Line 13 fab was partially excluded from 2020 as part of the fab switched from DRAM to CMOS image sensor production in 2020.

If all Line 13 is included, Samsung’s capacity growth will be 11%. Much of Samsung’s massive spending in 2020 will come in 2021, especially as $10.5 billion of the total 2020 spending was spent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The second-ranked TSMC is the world’s largest pure-play foundry, with a monthly production capacity of about 2.7 million wafers, accounting for 13.1% of the global total.

In 2020, the company opened the first two phases of its new factory complex near its Fab 14 factory in Tainan. Phases 1 and 2 of Fab 18 are in volume production and facilities for Phases 3-6 are under construction. TSMC also opened a 10-phase production line at Fab 15 in Taichung in 2020.

By the end of 2020, Micron ranked third in terms of production capacity, with more than 1.9 million wafers, accounting for 9.3% of global production capacity.

The company’s capital expenditures in 2020 are mainly used to upgrade existing fabs with more advanced equipment, but some new capacity has been added at factories in Hiroshima, Japan and Taichung, Taiwan. A second facility is being built in Manassas, Virginia, where the company manufactures long-lifecycle products.

The fourth largest fab at the end of 2020 is SK Hynix, which processes nearly 1.9 million wafers per month (9.0% of total global capacity), of which more than 80% is used to manufacture DRAM and NAND flash memory chips.

In 2019, the company completed two new large-scale fabs in Changju, South Korea and Wuxi, China. The new Fab M16 in Incheon, South Korea will start mass production in 2021.

The fifth-ranked company is another memory IC supplier, Kioxia, with 1.6 million wafers/month (7.7% of total global capacity), including a significant amount of its fab investment and technology development partner Western Digital NAND flash.

In 2020, the partners opened a new 300mm fab in North Kami, Japan. Construction on Fab 7 at the Ykkaichi complex in Japan will start in 2021.


In the face of the global chip shortage, not only Taiwanese manufacturers such as TSMC have expanded production, but foreign manufacturers such as Intel and Samsung have also increased their capital expenditure plans to expand production. Will the foundry go from overcapacity to overcapacity? This is also a market concern.

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