Word is going around about big price hikes for 300mm blank wafers. A new report by DigiTimes writes TSMC, UMC and Micron have all been informed by their upstream suppliers that prices will soar by 10 to 20 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Supply of 300mm wafers is getting tight due to aggressive capacity expansions at 300mm fabs, whereas supply of silicon wafers is growing at a much smaller rate.
TSMC is often given a substantial discount due to its huge demand for 12-inch wafers. Nevertheless, a lower discount rate will be offered by the foundry's wafer suppliers in the first quarter of 2017 - a measure identified as disguised price increases, the sources indicated.
UMC and Micron have both been informed by their wafer suppliers that prices for 12-inch blank wafers will be raised 10-20% in the first quarter of 2017, the sources said.
Providers of blank wafers include Shin-Etsu Chemical, Sumco and Siltronic.