SK siltron chasing Japanese rivals in wafer market Korean silicon wafer maker narrowing gap between bigger rivals

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2022-05-18 08:15:40

이 기사는 2022년 05월 18일 08:12 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s SK siltron is chasing Japanese rivals to become the world’s top 300mm silicon wafer manufacturer.

The global silicon wafer production is oligopoly where five companies together account for 94% of the market. The companies include Japan-based Shin-Etsu Chemical and Sumco, German company Siltronic and Taiwanese firm GlobalWafers alongside SK siltron.

SK siltron is the world’s third largest 300mm silicon wafer maker by revenue as of the end of 2021. It is narrowing the gap with its Japanese rivals while widening the gap with smaller rivals.

According to SK siltron data, Shin-Etsu Chemical accounted for 32.5% of 300mm silicon wafer shipments in 2018, which fell to 29.8% at the end of last year. Sumco’s market share also decreased from 25.1% to 24.8%.

SK siltron’s share in the 300mm silicon wafer market increased from 14.7% to 18.1% in the same period. The gap with smaller rival Siltronic widened to 4 percentage points while the gap with Shin-Etsu Chemical narrowed from 17.8 percentage points in 2018 to 11.7 percentage points last year.

This is attributable to SK siltron’s efforts to enhance its competitiveness in wafer production technology and quality. Samsung Electronics, which used to source silicon wafers mostly from Sumco and GlobalWafers, now gets them from SK siltron.

At present, 300mm wafers comprise the largest category of the market. According to market research firm Omnia, 300mm wafers accounted for 71.7% of $12.9 billion (15.3 trillion won) silicon wafer market last year. The share of 300mm wafer is projected to reach 73.9% by 2023 and 75.5% by 2025.

Amid rising demand for 300mm wafers, SK siltron announced its plan in March to spend about 1 trillion won on its domestic capacity expansion over the next three years. If its new 300mm wafer production plant in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, starts mass production in the first half of 2024, the company is estimated to command over 20% of the wafer market in terms of shipments. (Reporting by Hye-ran Kim)
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