Taiwan ranks No.1 in IC material market for 9th straight year


(CNA photo)

Taiwan ranked as the largest semiconductor material market in the world for the ninth consecutive year in 2018, according to data released Wednesday by the global industry association SEMI.

The SEMI data shows that in Taiwan, the market for semiconductor materials, comprised of materials for wafer production and integrated circuit packaging and testing use, totaled US$11.45 billion in 2018, up 11 percent from a year earlier.

Market analysts said it was no surprise that Taiwan retained the No. 1 semiconductor material market, as the country boasts the largest contract chipmaking capabilities and owns the largest IC packaging and testing service supply base.

Currently, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) ranks as the world's largest pure foundry operator, while ASE Technology Holding Co. serves as the largest IC packaging and testing service firm in the world.

Worldwide, the semiconductor material market hit a new high of US$51.9 billion in 2018, up 10.6 percent from a year earlier. The 2018 figure topped the previous high of US$47.1 billion seen in 2011, the data shows.

Sales of wafer materials and materials for IC packaging and testing services in the world totaled US$32.2 billion and US$19.7 billion, respectively, in 2018, up 15.9 percent and 3 percent, respectively, from a year earlier, the data indicates.

Based on this data, Taiwan accounted for more than 20 percent of the world market.

South Korea came in second in 2018, up one notch from a year earlier, with a market value of US$8.72 billion, up 16 percent from a year earlier, the data shows. South Korea's growth was the highest in the world, SEMI said.

China fell one notch to take third place in 2018, when its market value totaled US$8.44 billion, up 11 percent from a year earlier, ahead of Japan, the market value of which hit US$7.69 billion in 2018, up 9 percent from a year earlier, SEMI added.

In Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia, the market value rose 7 percent from a year earlier to US$6.21 billion, ahead of North America (US$5.61 billion, up 6 percent) and Europe (US$3.82 billion, up 14 percent), according to SEMI.

According to SEMI, its members focus on innovations in materials, design, equipment, software, devices and services to provide smarter, faster, more powerful and more affordable electronic products.