May 06, 2008 20:00 ET

Silicon Wafer Shipments Flatten in First Quarter 2008

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - Worldwide silicon wafer area shipments remained essentially stable in the first quarter of 2008, marginally declining 1 percent when compared to fourth quarter 2007 area shipments, according to the SEMI Silicon Manufacturers Group (SMG) in its quarterly analysis of the silicon wafer industry.

Total silicon wafer area shipments were 2,163 million square inches in the first quarter, compared to 2,185 million square inches shipped during the fourth quarter. Compared to the 2007 first quarter, total area shipments increased by three percent.

"Consistent with the conservative industry sentiment, overall silicon shipments declined slightly during the most recent quarter," said Kazuyo Heinink, chairwoman of SEMI SMG and vice president, New Product Marketing for MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. "However, 300 mm wafer shipments continued to grow."

                    Quarterly Silicon Area Shipment Trends
          Semiconductor Silicon Shipments* - Millions of Square Inches

                                         Million of Square Inches
                                    Q1 2007      Q4 2007      Q1 2008
                                    -------      -------      -------
           TOTAL                     2,100        2,185        2,163

*Shipments are for semiconductor applications only and do not include solar

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for semiconductors, which in turn, are vital components of virtually all electronics goods, including computers, telecommunications products, and consumer electronics. The highly engineered thin round disks are produced in various diameters (from one inch to 12 inches) and serve as the substrate material on which most semiconductor devices or "chips" are fabricated.

All data cited in this release is inclusive of polished silicon wafers, including virgin test wafers, epitaxial silicon wafers, and non-polished silicon wafers shipped by the wafer manufacturers to the end-users.

The Silicon Manufacturers Group acts as an independent special interest group within the SEMI structure and is open to SEMI members involved in manufacturing polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon or silicon wafers (e.g., as cut, polished, epi, etc.). The purpose of the group is to facilitate collective efforts on issues related to the silicon industry including the development of market information and statistics about the silicon industry and the semiconductor market.

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. SEMI member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Brussels, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

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