Worldwide 200mm semiconductor wafer fab capacity is forecast to reach 5.2 million wafer starts per month (wspm) in 2015, and will expand to 5.4 million wspm in 2018, according to SEMI.
Based on the rapidly increasing number of Internet-enabled mobile devices and the emergence of the IoT (Internet of Things), demand for sensors, MEMS, analog, power and related semiconductor devices is growing, SEMI indicated. While these devices are critical to enable the new era of computing, the applications do not require leading-edge manufacturing capability, and this demand is "breathing new life" into 200mm fabs, SEMI noted.
Thirty-six facilities are expected to add 300,000- 400,000 200mm wspm from 2015 through 2018, while eight new facilities/lines are expected to begin operation from 2015 through 2018, SEMI said. Meanwhile, China and Southeast Asia are forecast to lead the expansion in 200mm fab capacity.