Wafer foundries spend money to expand mature process capacity in 2023

Since the beginning of this year, the wafer foundry capacity has been extremely short. In response to the huge demand from customers, wafer foundries have successively expanded their investment and production capacity. The mature process capacity will be opened one after another in 2022, and will reach its peak in 2023. The tight production capacity is expected to be alleviated; however, as the production capacity is fully launched, the oversupply situation that the industry may face in the future is still a potential concern.

TSMC is committed to chasing Moore’s Law and promoting the development of advanced processes; however, under the severe shortage of global mature process capacity, in order to support customer demand, TSMC also rarely expands mature process capacity, and will expand the 28-nanometer process with a monthly production capacity of 20,000 pieces at the Nanjing plant .

TSMC believes that the shortage of capacity in the semiconductor industry will continue into next year, and the mature process is more likely to be lacking until 2022, while the new capacity of TSMC’s mature process will be opened in 2023.

UMC will work with a number of customers to expand the production capacity in the Nanke Fab12AP6 factory. It will adopt a 28-nanometer process and have a monthly production capacity of 27,500 pieces. Customers will pay a deposit in advance at the negotiated price. The expanded production capacity is expected to be put into production in the second quarter of 2023.

UMC believes that considering factors such as delivery time and geopolitics, and the market will not see significant capacity increase in the past 1-2 years, it is expected that the tight production capacity of mature processes will not ease before 2023.

The world’s advanced has also purchased AUO’s L3B plant and factory facilities in Zhuke, which can accommodate an 8-inch monthly production capacity of 40,000 pieces. Mass production is not expected until the end of 2022, or 2023.

NSMC will build a new 12-inch wafer factory in Tongluo, Miaoli, with a total production capacity of 100,000 wafers per month. It will be put into production in phases from 2023, and the annual output value at full load will exceed NT$60 billion.

SMIC has joined hands with the Shenzhen Municipal Government to expand the production capacity of the 28nm (and above) process, with a monthly production capacity of 40,000 12-inch wafers. It is expected to start production in 2022.

In addition to wafer foundries, many semiconductor factories have also successively expanded their investment. For example, Intel will return to the foundry industry, and the memory giant Hynix will expand its investment in the foundry business.

With the rapid rise of new demand for chips for automobiles, 5G, and AIoT, it has caused structural changes to the global industry, resulting in an explosion in the demand for mature process chips, and the shortage of supply will become more serious in the future.

Although major manufacturers are scrambling to expand production, in addition to hoping to relieve the pressure of shortages in the market, they are bound to be full of confidence in the prospects of the semiconductor industry. However, the economic reversal that may be faced in the future is still a potential risk.

On the other hand, as countries have poured huge sums of money to subsidize the autonomous production of local semiconductor chips, some experts have warned that with too much chip production capacity, when the turbulent wave of demand recedes, the industry may lead to a situation of oversupply in the future.

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