I already covered it a couple of weeks ago, the pricing of blank 300mm silicon wafers is going up as demand is increasing faster than production. DigiTimes Research estimates the average selling price (ASP) of a 300mm silicon wafer will be up 20-30 percent this quarter. Supply will remain tight through 2019 so further price hikes are on the way.
After experiencing an oversupply for 10 years through the first half of 2016, many silicon wafer suppliers have seen fierce competition among wafer foundry houses for their capacities since the second half of 2016. And the suppliers have based the allocation of their capacities on whether foundry houses are willing to sign 2-3-year cooperation pacts and share their blueprints for technology and product development. With this, silicon wafer suppliers will see their profits hit 10-year highs in 2018, Digitimes Research believes.
Whether this means we can expect meaningful price increases for computer components is unknown. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, the price of a blank wafer is not that big versus the price of the finished product so the impact may be relatively small.