Silicon Reclaim Wafer Market Expected to Grow to $413 Million by 2013

Silicon Reclaim Wafer Market Expected to Grow to $413 Million by 2013

By Lara Chamness, senior market analyst, SEMI Industry Research and Statistics

The worldwide reclaim wafer market is estimated at $374 million in 2011 and is forecasted to reach $413 million by 2013. While the reclaim market grew 13 percent in 2011, reclaim suppliers face a number of issues including a shortage of feedstock for reclaimed wafers and rising costs associated with more complex cleaning requirements and inspection for advanced geometries.  

As the result of supply better aligning to demand, downward pricing pressure finally reversed trend in 2011 for all wafer sizes although prices still have not recovered to pre-2009 downturn levels. A major factor impacting pricing is the increasing tightening of specifications, which require capital intensive inspection tools. There are a limited number of suppliers capable of conducting advanced inspection, which is causing a bifurcation of pricing with looser specifications fetching lower prices and tighter specifications (e.g. specifications requiring advanced inspection) bringing higher rates. As more advanced device manufacturing fully ramps, it is expected that smaller, less sophisticated suppliers will exit the market.

Japan is the largest reclaim market in terms of revenue and numbers of wafers and is expected to remain so for the duration of the forecast because of the installed fab base and prominent position of reclaim companies there. Taiwan reclaimed the second top spot in terms of revenues from North America in 2011, as its reclaim market grew faster than North America’s.

Silicon Wafer Reclaim Characterization Summary Report, February 2012Source: Silicon Wafer Reclaim Characterization Summary Report, February 2012

Japan-based suppliers account for over 50 percent of worldwide reclaim market revenues, even with the 2011 departure of Rasa, a dominant supplier. Suppliers based in North America and Europe benefited from Rasa’s departure and increased coverage of their respective domestic markets. Rasa’s assets have since been acquired by RSTec. It remains to be seen how much momentum RSTec will achieve in this extremely competitive market. With regard to capacity, Japan suppliers account for almost 60 percent of large diameter (200 mm and 300 mm) capacity in 2011, while companies in Asia Pacific represent just under 30 percent. The remainder of large diameter capacity is provided by companies based in Europe and North America.

Growth of the silicon reclaim wafer market is closely tied to wafer starts, given positive growth expectations for this year and the next for semiconductors, it is expected that the silicon reclaim market will enjoy similar growth as well, especially if supply remains in balance with demand.

A recently SEMI published report, Silicon Reclaim Wafer Characterization Summary, provides details on the 2011 silicon wafer reclaim for the semiconductor market and provides a forecast to 2013. Seven regions of the world are covered in this report including North America, Japan, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Rest of World (ROW). Market estimates for reclaim wafers include semiconductor applications including equipment and IC manufacturing markets. Regional reclaim pricing and capacity are also discussed.

Please click here for additional information about this new report as well as a list of tables and figures.  For information about other SEMI market research reports, please visit www.semi.org/marketinfo.

May 1, 2012