Since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war on February 24, global commodities have soared. Ranging from energy to metals to agricultural products. Aluminum prices on the London Stock Exchange have risen 30% this year. While other metals, such as zinc and nickel, have also surged. According to the organic report, on March 4, the spot copper price of the Yangtze River rose 390 yuan/ton. Guangdong rose 350 yuan/ton. Auto chip from 20 yuan to 2800 yuan.

The price growth of silicon wafers, the raw material for driving IC

The price of silicon wafers, the raw material for driver ICs, also rebounded. The shortage mainly causes the price increase of wafers. Sumco, the leader in the silicon wafer manufacturing industry, said that due to increased demand and insufficient inventory in the semiconductor chain. Silicon wafer shortage will last beyond 2023. Recently, several significant fabs have raised prices. For example, TSMC, which has a global market share of more than 50%, has raised prices for its entire line of products.

Among them, the average cost of 4~16nm advanced process wafers will increase by 8~10% yearly. The price of 28nm and above mature process wafers will increase by about 15% compared with the 2021 contract. On January 25, Wang Shi, general manager of UMC, said that in the first quarter of 2022, the dollar price would increase by 5% quarterly. In mid-February, Infineon issued a price increase letter to adjust prices comprehensively.

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Chip shortage aggravates the imbalance between supply and demand in the wafer market

In addition, the global chip shortage has also exacerbated the imbalance between supply and demand in the wafer market. Compared with automobiles, mobile phones, 5G, and other fields. The volume of driver IC wafers is not large, and the profits are not high. To make a profit, many wafer manufacturers will not consider the field of driver IC even if they expand production. Which aggravates the tension of LED display Screen panels driver IC to a certain extent.

What are the measures

Global foundry companies are vigorously expanding production to alleviate the contradiction of wafer shortage. But the production capacity is less than expected. TSMC’s U.S. factory production will be delayed due to the epidemic and approval of the construction site. Samsung’s high-end process capacity expansion is limited due to low yield. SMIC is subject to delays in equipment delivery, and production capacity growth is less than expected. For various reasons, the capacity growth of large new wafer manufacturers worldwide is lower than expected. The global chip supply shortage cycle will be extended.