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  • Business Intelligence Manager
  • Agilent Technologies

October 21, 2014


Foundries Use Small Feature Sizes to Boost Revenue per Wafer

60% of foundry sales at TSMC from devices built using ≤45nm process technology.

Revenue per wafer start (expressed in 200mm equivalents) varies considerably among the leading pure play foundry companies (Figure 1).  Among the Big 4 pure-play foundries, TSMC is forecast to have the highest revenue per wafer in 2014 at $1,328, 27% higher than GlobalFoundries. UMC’s revenue per wafer in 2014 is expected to be only $770, 42% less than TSMC’s revenue per wafer.  Although the average revenue per wafer of the Big 4 foundries is forecast to be $1,145 in 2014, the actual revenue per wafer is highly dependent upon feature size.

Figure 1

Figure 2 shows IC Insights’ 2014 forecast of pure-play foundry revenue by feature size. As shown, 60% of TSMC’s 2014 revenue is expected to be from devices manufactured using ≤45nm geometries.  As expected, a large portion of GlobalFoundries’ wafer fab capacity is dedicated to producing AMD’s MPUs, so its process technology is also skewed toward leading edge feature sizes.  In 2014, 57% of GlobalFoundries’ sales are forecast to be from ≤45nm production.

Figure 2

Although TSMC and GlobalFoundries are expected to have a similar percentage of sales dedicated to ≤45nm technology in 2014, TSMC is forecast to have almost 6x the dollar volume sales at ≤45nm as compared to GlobalFoundries this year ($14.8 billion for TSMC and $2.5 billion for GlobalFoundries).

SMIC started manufacturing devices using 45nm technology in early 2012, more than three years after TSMC first put its 45nm process into production. Only 15% of SMIC’s 2014 sales are expected to come from devices having ≤45nm feature sizes, which is the primary reason why its revenue per wafer is so low as compared to TSMC and GlobalFoundries.

The vast majority of the increase in pure-play foundry sales in 2014 is forecast to originate from sales of devices built using ≤28nm feature sizes. The ≤28nm pure-play foundry market is expected to be increase to $12.3 billion in 2014, a jump of $5.1 billion or 72% as compared to 2013, and account for 29% of total pure-play foundry marketshare this year.  Meanwhile, the market for devices built using >28nm technology, while forecast to represent 71% of total pure-play foundry sales in 2014, is forecast to increase only 4% this year.

Report Details: The 2014 McClean Report

Additional information about sales and other activities of pure-play IC foundry leaders is provided in the 2014 edition of IC Insights’ flagship report, The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry.  This highly regarded service features more than 900 pages and more than 400 tables and graphs that provide the user with a thorough analysis of IC industry trends throughout the year.  A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 250+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual-user license to the 2014 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $3,490 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $6,490.

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