Taiwan and Korea host 40% of worldwide wafer capacity


Taiwan and Korea have over 40% of the total world wafer capacity, according to IC Insights’ Global Wafer Capacity report.

The report looks at the total installed monthly capacity of fabs located in a region regardless of the headquarters location of the companies that own the fabs.

For example, the wafer capacity that Samsung has installed in the U.S. is counted in the North America capacity total, not in the South Korea capacity total.

The ROW “region” consists primarily of Singapore, Israel, and Malaysia, but also includes countries/regions such as Russia, Belarus, and Australia.

Figure 1

Some observations contained in the Global Wafer Capacity Report 2021-2025 regarding IC capacity trends by region include:

•    Taiwan surpassed South Korea in 2015 to become the largest capacity holder after having passed Japan in 2011.  Taiwan is expected to remain the largest region for wafer capacity through 2025.  The country is forecast to add nearly 1.4 million wafers (200mm-equivalent) in monthly fab capacity between 2020 and 2025.

•    At the end of 2020, China held 15.3% of the world’s capacity, which was nearly the same as Japan.  It is expected that China will surpass Japan in 2021 in terms of the amount of installed capacity.  China accounted for more wafer capacity than Europe for the first time in 2010, it exceeded the capacity of the ROW region for the first time in 2016, and then it surpassed North America capacity for the first time in 2019.

•    China is forecast to be the only region that gains percentage points of capacity share from 2020 to 2025 (3.7 percentage points).  While expectations have been tempered for the roll out of the large new Chinese-led DRAM and NAND fabs, there is also a substantial amount of wafer capacity coming to China over the next few years from memory manufacturers headquartered in other countries and from local IC manufacturers.

•    The share of capacity in North America is projected to decline over the forecast period as the region’s large fabless supplier industry continues to rely on foundries, primarily those based in Taiwan.  Europe’s share of capacity is also expected to continue slowly shrinking.





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