The semiconductor foundry market was valued at USD 83.32 billion, and it is expected to reach USD 126.91 billion, registering a CAGR of 7.3%, during the period.
The semiconductor foundry sector witnessed strong revenue growth during the year 2022. Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, major vendors operating in this space observed significant revenue growth during the year, which is expected to further increase in 2031, owing to the growing demand for 5G smartphones and high-performance computing (HPC) products such as PCs, tablets, game consoles, servers, and 5G base station.
The global demand for connected cars is increasing at a fast pace, and a prominent share of all the new passenger vehicles produced in recent times comprise connected solutions. According to various sources and industry data, over 88% of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2020 were connected. The demand for vehicles with in-vehicle cellular capabilities is rising at a rapid pace, thereby driving the demand for semiconductor components in the industry.
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Foundries are increasingly focusing on adopting automation, ML, and analytics. The benefits offered by these technologies, such as optimizing the production process and increasing the yield without compromising the quality, are driving their demand. With the high production capacities and reducing costs, vendors are expected to take up higher production contracts, resulting in significantly higher supplies, covering the shortage gaps present in various industries.
By geography, Asia-Pacific is expected to command the dominant share of the market owing to the major markets such as South Korea, Taiwan, and China; North America is expected to increase its investment in the foundry business with the United States focusing on expanding its domestic foundry businesses. The trade tensions between China and the United States during the Trump administration are expected to continue under the Biden administration. The recent events in China’s advances in Taiwan’s unification with it are expected to affect the market.
The cost of building state-of-the-art chip foundries have increased exponentially, which puts pressure on the industry. This is where the number of chipmakers were consolidated in recent times. Performance boosts are slowing down, making specialized chips increasingly attractive. The design decisions that help make chips universal may be sub-optimal for some computing tasks.
Key Market Trends
Automotive Industry to Witness Major Market Growth Significantly
Semiconductors are primary parts of automotive electronics components such as ECUs, Infotainment Systems, and Sensors. The automotive industry has been recovering, driven by the increased demand for safer personal transportation. In addition, the growth in electric and autonomous vehicles has been driving the need for semiconductors.
According to the International Energy Agency, sales of electric cars topped 2.1 million globally in 2019, surpassing 2018 – already a record year – to boost the stock to 7.2 million electric cars. After having emerged as one of the leading markets for plug-in light vehicle sales, China has entered a slowdown phase. Meanwhile, electric vehicle sales in Europe’s five largest markets surged in 2020. Germany could become the largest market for plug-in electric vehicles due to a combination of regulations and incentive changes.
In addition, there has been a rapid growth in the development of autonomous vehicles as well. According to MHI 2020 Industry Report, it is expected that by 2025 the adoption rate of autonomous vehicles is expected to reach 54% compared to just 18% in 2020. The growth in autonomous vehicles has also been creating a demand for semiconductors.
The growth in the development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) also contributes to the development of autonomous vehicles leading to the growth of the market studied. The Indian Ministry of Road and Highway Transport announced that it has been working toward a mandate that brings ADAS in all cars by 2022.
The vendors, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), announced that they have been focusing on relocating their production to meet the demand from automakers, such as Volkswagen and Toyota, among others. In addition, the demand coming from companies, such as Qualcomm and Apple, has also been creating delays in supply of semiconductors. According to a new survey by Automotive News (April 2021), 53% of the respondents suggested that they source their chips from outside the United States, and 55% of the manufacturers have been looking for alternative chip sources outside the country.
Such factors have been leading to the entry of new companies into the market studied. For instance, recently, Intel announced the launch of a new business Intel Foundry Services, to meet the demand for automotive manufacturers.
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Asia Pacific is Expected to Hold a Major Market Share
Asia-Pacific region has the most prominent share of semiconductor foundries globally, with the region having the presence of major companies such as TSMC, Samsung Electronics, etc. Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and China are major countries in the region having a significant market share.
China has a very ambitious semiconductor agenda. Backed by USD 150 billion in funding, the country is developing its domestic IC industry and plans to make more of its chips. Greater China, which encompasses Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, is a geopolitical hotspot. The US-China trade war is compounding tensions in an area where all the leading process technology is located, forcing many Chinese companies to invest in their semiconductor foundries.
The number of newly registered chip-related companies in China more than tripled in the first five months of the year from the same period in 2020 in a new sign that China is sparing no effort in its pursuit of self-sufficiency in semiconductors, for which the country relies heavily on imports and US technologies to satisfy domestic demand. According to Qichacha, from January through May 2021, China saw 15,700 new companies involved in everything from designing to manufacturing chips.
Japan aims to attract overseas companies through financial incentives to secure its own chip supplies and address the global shortage. Japan imports significant of its semiconductors from overseas and wants to build a supply chain of this technology at home. In June 2021, Japan has signed off on a JPY 37 billion semiconductor research project to develop chip technology in the country with TSMC. About 20 Japanese companies, including Hitachi High-Tech Corp., will work with TSMC in the project, with the Japanese government paying just over half of the cost.
South Korea announced to go all out to bolster its critical semiconductor industry, with the government announcing a plan by companies to invest KRW 510 trillion and beefed-up tax benefits to boost chipmakers’ competitiveness amid an acute global shortage of the critical components. Semiconductors are already Korea’s largest export. However, most of that is memory products, NAND Flash, and DRAM memory. The new plan aims to boost the advanced logic chip foundry capacity.
The semiconductor foundry market is consolidated due to a major share of the market is occupied by top players. Moreover, due to the high setup cost of the semiconductor foundry new players are finding it difficult to enter the market. Some of the key players include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Limited, Global Foundries, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), Samsung Group, Dongbu HiTek, STMicroelectronics, among others.
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March 2021 – Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC) announced a NTD 278 billion investment for 12-inch fab. The company plans to put a total capacity of 100,000 wafers per month and it will put into production by 2023 in stages, generating approximately NTD 60 billion annually and more than 3,000 new jobs in the Hsinchu and Miaoli areas.
August 2020 – Hua Hong Semiconductor Ltd launched a 90nm ultra-low-leakage (ULL) embedded flash (eFlash) and electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) process platform to meet the needs of large-capacity microcontroller unit (MCU).
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