A recent survey conducted by semiconductor industry association SEMI found that silicon wafer production is expected to rise 18 percent in 2006, indicating strong growth for the semiconductor industry as a whole.

A survey of leading suppliers of silicon wafers show shipments reaching 7.81 billion square inches this year, with an expected 8.2 billion square inches in 2007, 9.37 billion square inches in 2008, and 9.76 billion square inches in 2009.

We are currently seeing unprecedented demand, driven by the end market electronic applications. The silicon segment that is experiencing the greatest growth is 300mm, which is anticipated to be over 30% of total silicon volumes in 2007. said Tatsuhiko Shigematsu, chairman SEMI SMG and technology officer of SUMCO Corporation.

Silicon wafers are the fundamental building material for semiconductors, which in turn, are vital components of virtually all electronics goods, including computers, telecommunications products, and consumer electronics.