Taiwan maintains lead in global wafer capacity

A UMC Group laboratory technician tests silicon wafers at Science-Based Industrial Park Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1999, in Hsinchu, Taiwan. (AP Photo/Wally Santana, File)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan has maintained its global lead in wafer production capacity, according to Semiconductor market research firm IC Insights.

As of December 2018, Taiwan led all regions/countries in wafer capacity with a 21.8 percent share, a slight increase from 21.3 percent in 2017, and continued its status as the world wafer capacity leader.

Taiwan’s capacity share was only slightly ahead of South Korea, which accounted for 21.3 percent of global wafer capacity in 2018, according to the recently released Global Wafer Capacity report by IC Insights.

Taiwan first became the global wafer capacity leader in 2015, according to the report.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chip maker, and Samsung and SK Hynix of South Korea accounted for the vast share of wafer fab capacity in each country and were the top three capacity leaders worldwide.

TSMC held 67 percent of Taiwan’s capacity, while Samsung and SK Hynix represented 94 percent of the installed IC wafer capacity in South Korea at the end of 2018.

Japan remained firmly in third place with just over 16.8 percent of global wafer fab capacity.

North America was the fourth-largest country/region with installed capacity, followed by China, which showed the largest increase in global wafer capacity share in 2018, rising 1.7 percentage points from a 10.8 percent share in 2017 to a 12.5 percent share in 2018.

By Chang Chien-chung and Evelyn Kao