Demand for semiconductor-grade silicon wafers has been robust, according to GlobalWafers, which expects the market to see tight supply through the end of 2018.
The market shortage will continue to drive up wafer prices, said GlobalWafers. Prices for mainstream 12-inch wafers, for example, will continue to rise 5-10% quarterly.
GlobalWafers also anticipated that wafer prices will see larger growth in the second half of 2017 than in the first half, as the ongoing shortage will become more acute in the second half of the year.
Nevertheless, the overall rise in wafer prices for the second half of 2017 will be only 10%, far below the 30% market observers predict generally, GlobalWafers suggested.
Chipmakers intend to secure 2- to 4-year contracts for the supply of wafers, GlobalWafers said. GlobalWafers has promised its semiconductor clients to provide sufficient wafer supply through the end of 2017, but the offered wafer prices will not be fixed, the company indicated.
The global wafer supply will likely fall short of demand by 10-20% at the end of 2018, and the shortage could persist through 2020, GlobalWafers noted.