MEMS, sensors manufacturing capacity on 4.5% CAGR

October 30, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
MEMS, sensors manufacturing capacity on 4.5% CAGR
Total worldwide installed capacity for MEMS and sensors fabs is forecast to grow 25 percent to 4.7 million wafers per month in 2023 from about 3.8 million wafers per month in 2018, according to industry body SEMI.

These are 200mm equivalent wafers and the forecast excludes R&D, pilot and epitaxial wafer lines.

The growth translates to a compound annual growth rate over the period of about 4.5 percent. The capacity is being put in place to meet demand across communications, transportation, medical, mobile, industrial and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications, SEMI said.

SEMI has produced a report that lists 230 companies with more than 400 facilities. And it reckons that dedicated MEMS fabs will account for 46 percent of the facilities in 2023 while image sensors will make up 40 percent. Fabs that can make both MEMS and sensors will account for the remaining 14 percent.

Figure 1: Installed capacity and MEMS and sensors fab counts. Source: SEMI.

Japan led the world in MEMS and sensors capacity in 2018, followed by Taiwan, the Americas, and Europe/Mideast. China is on track to rise from the sixth position in 2019 to the third largest region by installed capacity by 2023. Japan and Taiwan are expected to maintain the top two positions through 2023.

MEMS and sensor fab equipment investment is stable at about $4 billion per year through to 2023, with about 70 percent of the spending targeting image sensors made on 300mm-diameter wafers. During the same period, Japan’s fab equipment investment is expected to peak at nearly US$2 billion in 2020, with Taiwan topping out at US$1.6 billion in 2023.

The report discusses 14 volume fabs that are due to be built between now and 2023 with China shows the largest increase in new volume fabs followed by Japan, Taiwan and Europe.

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