As worldwide demand for storage, servers, networking and mobile devices continues to skyrocket in order for enterprises and consumers to handle larger and more complex workloads, the semiconductor industry and all its supplies are seeing their businesses boom commensurately.
Semiconductor industry analyst TrendForce reported Nov. 29 that the global revenue for semiconductor foundries is expected to reach $57.3 billion in 2017, an increase of 7.1 percent compared with 2016, marking the fifth consecutive year with a growth rate over 5 percent.
The semiconductor industry sees increasing needs for high performance and efficiency from computing and mobile devices, which drive the development of advanced process technology. 10 nm nodes began the mass production in 2017, with the revenue expected to reach about $3.72 billion, accounting for more than 95 percent of the yearly foundry revenue growth.
The foundry business can expect to get another boost in the next year as RISC-V chips start being manufactured. See eWEEK’s story here. eWEEK was told WD will probably use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for these.
The 2017 Top 10 ranking of foundries remains the same as last year, with TSMC, GlobalFoundries and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) ranking first, second, and third, respectively. Particularly, TSMC has a dominant market share of 55.9 percent due to its high production capacity and a fast yearly growth above the average level worldwide.
GlobalFoundries records a relatively high revenue growth of 8.2 percent as a result of higher total production capacity and higher utility rate of it. UMC has begun mass production of 14 nm nodes this year, but the revenue of it only accounts for 1 percent of the entire annual revenue. However, driven by increased total production capacity and re-arrangement of product portfolio, the revenue growth turns out to be 6.8 percent.
In comparison, Samsung, a leading company in 10nm process technology as TSMC, has a limited growth due to having only Qualcomm is its major 10nm client. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) has constantly expanded its capital expense, but the growth rate is lower than the average because the actual added production capacity is limited in 2017, TrendForce said.
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (TowerJazz) and Hua Hong Semiconductor Limited have raised their production capacity to gain more than 10 percent growth, while the market shows constant demand for 200mm wafer. Powerchip has a high growth rate as it has increased the proportion of foundry services in its entire business.
As for next year, the advancement of process technology will still be a focus of industry, and 7nm nodes are expected to drive the revenue.