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Wafer production on a roll

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Worldwide silicon wafer revenue totalled $12,5-billion in 2007, a 22,5% increase from 2006 revenue of $10,2-billion, according to Gartner. 

"The increase was due to two factors: a continued rise in demand for 300mm wafers, which commanded a price premium; and the general benefit of high wafer prices, partly caused by a shortage of polysilicon," says Takashi Ogawa, research vice president for Gartner's semiconductor manufacturing research group.
"In contrast to 300mm wafer demand, the 200mm segment – in which shipments reached a high in 2006 – showed clear signs of deceleration during and after the second quarter. Shipments fell to 5.4-million wafers per month in the fourth quarter."
The Asia/Pacific region experienced revenue growth of 40,3% in 2007. China and South Korea recorded revenue growth of 44,3% and 52,3%, respectively. Taiwan's market also grew strongly, by 29,7%, while the rest of Asia/Pacific registered an increase of 30,7%.
Other regions such as the Americas, Japan, and Europe, recorded fairly modest performances with revenue growth rates of approximately 10%.
"Growth in demand for 300mm wafers will lessen as the market for these products matures, and prices weaken accordingly," says Ogawa. "Whereas, the production capacity of manufacturers has governed the direction of the 300mm market, demand will become a stronger influence on its dynamics. As a result, wafer vendors will need to tailor their prices to suit individual device segments."