The Semiconductor Foundry Market was valued at USD 42.03 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 62.2 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 6.75% over the forecast period 2021 - 2026. According to Applied Energy Systems Inc, around 80% of semiconductor development projects are unable to meet their initial production schedules, often due to the foundry's overestimation of their ability to handle complex tasks.
- When it comes to semiconductor manufacturing, the use of analytics can yield accurate insight into equipment health and ensure that the systems are running at peak performance as per requirements.
- The market for semiconductor foundry is expected to benefit from the rapid growth of the semiconductor industry, as semiconductors are emerging as the building blocks of all modern technology. The innovations and advancements in this field are directly impacting all downstream technologies. â€‹
- According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the sales of semiconductors across the world totaled to USD 96.8 billion during the first quarter of 2019, which was a decrease of 15.5% over the previous quarter and 13% less than the first quarter of 2018. In 2020, as per the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS), the semiconductor industry is expected to grow.â€‹ This is anticipated to increase the demand for the semiconductor foundry.
- The semiconductor industry is set to continue its robust growth to accommodate the increasing demand for semiconductor materials in emerging technologies, such as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and Internet of Things, coupled with consistent spending on R&D and competition among key players.
- According to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the number of connected devices is expected to reach 50.1 billion in 2020, compared to that of 34.8 billion connected devices in 2018. Every IoT or IIoT device contains sophisticated microchip designs that permit devices to achieve remote connectivity. Further, as the IoT is poised to grow significantly, it will impact the growth of the semiconductor foundry industry as well. â€‹
- The smartphone bill of materials constitutes the most significant portion of the foundry activity, which includes analog RF, sensors, processors, and wireless. Foundry vendors are also banking on the growth in power electronics, cryptocurrency, and high-performance computing segments. However, Moore's Law is about to reach its physical limitation, and breaking such a barrier is a significant challenge for the market vendors.
- As per SEMI in its World Fab Forecast report, soaring pandemic-inspired demand for chips that power everything from communications and IT infrastructures to personal computing, gaming and healthcare electronics will drive an 8% increase in global fab equipment spending in 2020 and a 13% increase in 2021.
Key Market Trends
Automotive to Witness Significant Growth in the Consumption of Semiconductors
- The electrification and automation of automobiles have led to increased demand in semiconductor wafers. Semiconductor ICs with different functionalities are used in various automotive products, like navigation control, infotainment systems, and collision detection systems. The inclusion of these features has an impact on automobile sales.â€‹
- The current automotive outlook needs an unprecedented array of innovations that require substantial numbers of electronic devices. Sensors, cameras, and image processors are prerequisites for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in conventional automobiles, to advanced power electronics used in electric vehicles (EVs) and advanced sensor technologies for autonomous "self-driving" vehicles.
- Automotive is attractive for foundries because many devices don't require leading-edge processes, meaning a large number of vendors can participate.
- New ADAS safety features, such as automatic emergency braking systems (EBS), are attracting car buyers and insurance companies to avoid costly crashes. Also, governments are stepping in the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it would require automatic emergency braking as a standard feature on new cars by 2022. The net effect of all this is the creation of strong demand for automotive electronics.
- Semiconductor Foundries are accelerating their automotive chip production efforts in preparation for a surge in semiconductors used in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving.
- All of the major foundry vendors are scrambling to expand their process portfolios for automotive customers. The foundries are seeing a growing demand from automotive IC customers amid the push toward traditional cars with more connectivity features, ADAS, and electric/hybrid vehicles.
- For instance, in June 2019, Analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry X-Fab has announced that its high-voltage 180nm CMOS semiconductor process, XH018, is now available for automotive applications. These chips will be manufactured at X-Fab's production facility in Corbeil-Essonnes, France.
- Amid COVID-19, the outlook for 2020 global EV sales becomes more difficult, which would lay an effect on the semiconductor foundries. According to EV Volume, EV's would witness significant growth in Europe throughout the year, high growth in the USA, and other markets in the second half of 2020, but China could become another disappointment. The preliminary EV sales data for January and February is very positive in Europe, encouraging in the USA, but dismal in China, where the total vehicle market was down 80 % in February. If quarantines and factory closures continue into Q3 and Q4 across countries, insufficient parts supply affects the global car industry during a more extended period, and the lost volumes are unlikely to be recovered during this year. Which might lay a significant effect on semiconductor demand from the automotive sector.
Asia-Pacific to Hold Major Share
- Some of the world's most crucial semiconductor foundries are in Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan). This has significantly enabled the region to cater to the highest revenue from the market studied. China commands a prominent share of the semiconductor industry. According to SEMI, China is expected to be the top country in fab investment in 2020, with more than USD 20 billion in expenditure, driven by memory and foundry projects, funded by both multinational and domestic companies. â€‹
- Companies in Asia-Pacific, such as SK Hynix Inc. (South Korea), in 2019, indicated plans to invest USD 106.66 billion to build four semiconductor fabs. The company will spend an additional USD 49 billion on two existing factories over the next ten years. This investment is made by the company to maintain its position as one of the world's largest chipmakers.â€‹
- Further, the significant outbreak of the COVID-19 in China and South Korea has disrupted the supply chain and production. Major semiconductor manufacturing industries have been significantly affected as a result of China has become a world production center over the past two to three decades.â€‹
- For chipmakers, the impact is more severe in the package and testing realm. Owing to the labor shortages, many of the package and testing plants in China have reduced or even suspended operations. This has created a bottleneck for chip companies that depend on such back-end package and testing capacity.â€‹
- In the current market scenario, many small and medium-sized chip design companies in the country are faced with the difficulty of being unable to obtain adequate production capacity from both fabs and package suppliers. If this production slowdown remains for an extended period, these design companies may face bankruptcy or acquisition.â€‹
- The main threat for the region's semiconductor industry lies elsewhere, as COVID-19 obstructs production at electronic manufacturing companies that represent some of the world's largest semiconductor purchasers. With the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) and original design manufacturing (ODM) companies facing challenges regarding the lower number of workers returning work, the market is anticipated to witness severe challenges in the second quarter of 2020.â€‹
The semiconductor foundry market is consolidated due to a major share of the market is occupied by top players. Moreover, due to the high set up cost of the semiconductor foundry new players are finding it difficult to enter the market. Some of the key players include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Limited, Global Foundries, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), Samsung Group, Dongbu HiTek, Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited, Hua Hong Semiconductor Limited, STMicroelectronics, among others.
- May 2020 - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TMSC) announced to build a semiconductor facility in Arizona, owing to the growing concerns in Washington regarding the security of the technology supply chain which is largely centered in Asia. Total spending on the project is anticipated to be USD 12 billion with TSMC claiming it will directly create 1,600 jobs. The construction of the facility is planned to start in 2021.
- May 2020 - Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) has secured an investment worth USD 2.2 billion dollars from Chinese state investors. According to SMICâ€™s announcement, a number of vehicles under Chinaâ€™s â€œBig Fund,â€ a government-backed money pool for funding domestic chip companies, will jointly make the investment in one of SMICâ€™s plants.
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