PHOENIX, USA: Moore's Law continues to provide the semiconductor industry with efficiency gains as semiconductor revenues grow by 30 percent in 2010, units at 28 percent, and wafer demand up by only 21.3 percent.
Semico's third quarter 2010 wafer demand data, which provides wafer demand by product, indicates that nearly all semiconductor categories are seeing a dramatic increase in wafer demand, placing added pressure on capacity in both the fabs and at material suppliers.
DRAM wafer demand is expected to grow by 12.2 percent in 2010, while NAND wafer demand will grow by 27.1 percent. Manufacturers of both memory products are taking advantage of density and process technology migration to keep wafer demand from growing at even higher rates.
Surprisingly, discrete wafer demand is growing at 29.3 percent. Semico's manufacturing analyst, Joanne Itow noted, "That is the highest growth rate on record, since 1991, when Semico's database began tracking wafer demand by product category."
Discrete vendors are playing catch-up after suffering from two years of unit declines in 2008 and 2009. At this point, discrete vendors are not afraid to keep a little inventory on hand as the carrying cost of these low cost chips is relatively low-risk.