DigiTimes predicts major capacity expansions at semiconductor foundries will lead to excess capacity in 2012, as production capacity is expected to increase by 46 percent compared to 2009.
With major foundry chipmakers gearing up for capacity expansions at their 12-inch (300mm) facilities, Nobunaga Chai, an analyst at Digitimes Research, has forecast worldwide 12-inch wafer fabs will be flooded with excess capacity in 2012. The oversupply may lead to price and profit erosion for these pure-play foundries, Chai said.
Worldwide 12-inch fabs will be capable of outputting 1.483 million 12-inch equivalent wafers (3.337 million 8-inch equivalent units) per quarter in 2012, compared to 1.018 million units in 2009, according to Chai. The 46% rise will outpace overall production capacity growth at pure-play foundries. Chai estimated global pure-play foundries will see their combined quarterly capacity average 6.047 million 8-inch equivalent wafers in 2012, up 21% from 5.001 million units in 2009.