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Global Silicon Wafer Shipments Set for Rebound in 2024, Anticipates SEMI

Published: 11.7.2023

The global silicon wafer market is poised for recovery in 2024 following an anticipated decline this year, as per the annual silicon shipment forecast by SEMI. Projections indicate a 14% decrease in shipments in 2023, dropping to 12,512 million square inches (MSI) from the record high of 14,565 MSI in 2022. Despite the current dip, SEMI is optimistic about a resurgence in shipments next year, attributing it to the rebound in wafer and semiconductor demand alongside the normalization of inventory levels.

Ajit Manocha, President and CEO of SEMI, noted, “The silicon wafer industry is expected to experience a cyclical downturn in 2023, driven by a combination of factors including macroeconomic uncertainty, inventory adjustments, and supply chain disruptions. However, we are confident that the industry will rebound in 2024 as demand for semiconductors continues to grow.”

SEMI's forecast finds support in several factors, including sustained long-term demand for semiconductors in crucial markets such as data centers, automotive, and 5G. Furthermore, the semiconductor industry stands to benefit from governmental investments in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

Manocha emphasized, “The semiconductor industry is essential to the global economy, and we believe that the long-term outlook for the industry is very positive. We are committed to working with our members to support the industry’s growth and innovation.”

The downturn in silicon wafer shipments is expected to adversely affect the smartphone market in 2023. Smartphone manufacturers are grappling with various challenges, including inflation, rising interest rates, and disruptions in the supply chain. The diminished availability of silicon wafers could potentially intensify these challenges, leading to higher smartphone prices or reduced production volumes.

However, despite short-term setbacks, the long-term outlook for the smartphone market remains optimistic. Anticipated growth in smartphone sales is attributed to increasing demand in developing countries and the rising popularity of new features such as 5G and foldable displays.

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