Taiwan to remain largest semiconductor material market in 2020, 2021

09/22/2020 10:22 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Taiwan is forecast to remain the largest semiconductor production material buyer in the world in 2020 and 2021, with its major foundry operators and integrated circuit packaging and testing service providers keen to expand capacity and upgrade technology, global industry association SEMI said Tuesday.

At a news conference ahead of SEMICO Taiwan 2020, scheduled to open Wednesday, Clark Tseng (曾瑞榆), director of SEMI's Industry Research & Statistics, said purchases of semiconductor material by Taiwan are expected to hit US$11.83 billion in 2020, up 3.05 percent from a year earlier, helping the country remain the largest buyer in the world.

In 2021, Tseng said, semiconductor material purchases from Taiwan are expected to hit US$12.56 billion, up 6.17 percent from a year earlier.

The forecasts came as Taiwan now houses many integrated circuit makers and IC packaging and testing services suppliers. Among them, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is the world's largest pure foundry operator.

TSMC, which currently commands more than 50 percent of the global wafer foundry market, has raised its capacity expenditure by US$1 billion to between US$16 billion and US$17 billion in the wake of solid demand for emerging technologies such as 5G applications and high performance computing (HPC) devices.

To maintain the company's lead over its peers, TSMC is developing the 5 nanometer process, which started mass production in the second quarter of this year, and the 3nm process which is scheduled to launch commercial production in 2022. The development of the even more advanced 2nm process is also under way.

Tseng said the value of the global semiconductor material market is expected to rise only slightly from US$52.88 billion in 2019 to US$52.94 billion in 2020, and is estimated to grow about 6 percent from 2020 to US$56.36 billion in 2021.

China is expected to rank as the second largest semiconductor material market with purchases valued at US$9.34 billion in 2020 and US$10.42 billion in 2021, ahead of South Korea's US$8.54 billion in 2020 and US$9.04 billion in 2021, according to SEMI.

In terms of semiconductor production equipment, Tseng said Taiwan was the third largest market with US$8.63 billion in purchases for the first seven months of this year, up 10.6 percent from a year earlier.

China was the largest semiconductor production equipment buyer in the seven-month period with purchases at US$9.84 billion, up 45.2 percent ahead of South Korea, which spent US$9.49 billion on semiconductor equipment, up 54.1 percent.

Worldwide, sales of semiconductor production equipment for the seven-month period totaled US$38.43 billion, up 23.2 percent from a year earlier.

Tseng said the strong growth showed little impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEMICON Taiwan 2020, one of the global semiconductor industry's largest expos, will run through Friday at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.

According to SEMI, the expo will house 550 exhibitors in more than 2,000 booths focusing on sophisticated technologies, smart applications, green production, talent cultivation as well as a venture capital ecosystem for the semiconductor industry.

SEMI said the three-day trade show is expected to attract 45,000 professional visitors.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)

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