By Ian Lankshear, EnSilica (May 18, 2021)
To put it mildly, the 8-inch (200mm) wafer supply chain is somewhat struggling.
As one headline from December read, “8-inch wafer capacity is in short supply to unimaginable levels”, with the article stating “wafer production capacity is so tight that customers’ demand for production capacity has reached a panic level.” And that from mid 2021 “to the second half of 2022, the logic and DRAM markets will be out of stock.”
This is not a new problem, Trends Force stated around the same time that “8-inch wafer capacity has been in severe shortage since 2H19”. And EE Times reported in February 2020 that “Shortages loom after 8-inch fabs run at 99% capacity in Q1”.
And to cap it all off, March’s fire at a Renesas fab used by GM and other car manufacturers can only make matters worse. As Nikkei put it: “Loss of advanced semiconductors could worsen global crunch [of automotive chips].”
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