The worldwide reclaim wafer market is forecast to surge to $562 million by 2019 after reaching $510 million in 2017 on the strength of 18 percent growth. Despite the growth, reclaim suppliers continue to struggle to cost-effectively remove complex materials from wafers in the face of ever-tightening particle specifications, cope with the shortage of feedstock for reclaim, and manage yields from repeatedly reclaimed wafers.
Supply better aligned to demand last year, finally reversing downward pricing pressure, with prices for 100 mm and 200 mm reclaimed wafers above pre-2009 downturn levels. 300 mm wafers saw year-over-year improvement but their prices remain at just over half of their 2008 levels. Two major factors impacting pricing are tightening specifications required for more complex wafer processing and the tight silicon supply. Price increases for virgin silicon also have helped lift the reclaim silicon market.
Historically, Japan has been the largest market for silicon reclaim. However, beginning in 2011, Taiwan began to increase its global share of the market. Revenues from North America also began to outpace the market in 2015, with North America claiming the top spot in 2016, only to lose it to Japan in 2017.
Regional Market Share by Revenue
Source: SEMI Silicon Wafer Reclaim Characterization Summary Report, March 2018
Suppliers based in Japan continued to dominate the reclaim market, and the facilities impacted by the Kumamoto earthquake in April 2016 became fully operational last year. Japan-based suppliers account for almost 60 percent of worldwide reclaim market revenues. As for capacity, Japan suppliers accounted for 55 percent of large diameter (200 mm and 300 mm) capacity in 2017, while companies in Asia Pacific represented 30 percent. Companies based in Europe and North America provide the remainder of large diameter capacity.
With silicon reclaim wafer market growth closely tied to wafer starts, forecast semiconductor growth for this and next year is expected to drive a similar expansion in the silicon reclaim market, especially if supply and demand remain in balance.
A recently SEMI published report, Silicon Reclaim Wafer Characterization Summary, provides details, including regional reclaim pricing and capacity, on the 2017 silicon wafer reclaim for the semiconductor market and a forecast to 2019. Seven regions of the world are covered in this report including North America, Japan, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Rest of World (ROW). Market estimates for reclaim wafers include semiconductor applications including equipment and IC manufacturing markets.
Please click here for additional information about this new report as well as a list of tables and figures.
Lara Chamness is Senior Market Analyst, Industry Research and Statistics, at SEMI.