Wafer Demand Grows 18.5% in 2021, but Semico Research Expects Retraction in 2022

By Taryn Engmark

Assistant Editor

Embedded Computing Design

January 26, 2022

News

Wafer Demand Grows 18.5% in 2021, but Semico Research Expects Retraction in 2022

The chip shortage that impacted the electronic supply chain in the first half of 2021 continued to impact the second half of 2021 as demand for electronic products remained high. The outlook for semiconductor sales includes several areas of growth such as above-average demand in the automotive market and continued growth in AI and IoT.

Auto sales are projected to remain above average into 2022 as supply chain issues continue to be worked out. Semiconductor manufacturers are rolling out new products incorporating artificial intelligence. These products require both the most advanced technologies for AI training functions as well as potentially high-volume manufacturing capabilities for edge devices.

A new report from Semico Research, Semico Wafer Demand Q4 2021 Highlights (MA113-21), reports wafer demand grew 18.5% in 2021 over 2020.

"There were challenges on the semiconductor supply side that limited semiconductor sales in the first half of 2021. As the demand for electric vehicles and AI products continues to penetrate the general consumer market, the shortages for certain types of chips are driven by both pent-up demand as well as supply and capacity constraints," says Joanne Itow, Manager of Manufacturing Research at Semico. "Manufacturers are adding capacity, but in the meantime, some OEMs are also double-ordering certain products which makes the situation appear worse than it really is." 

Additional key findings include:

  • NAND units are expected to post a 16.4% growth in 2021.
  • Wafer demand for microcontroller products will increase from 12.7 million 300mm wafer equivalents in 2021 to 13.5 million in 2022.

For more information, visit Semico Research's report, Semico Wafer Demand Q4 2021 Highlights (MA113-21), which includes an Excel spreadsheet which provides wafer demand by 18 product categories and 14 technology nodes over a 15-year time frame from 2010 to 2025.