Leading Edge Leads the Way in Pure-Play Foundry Growth

October 09, 2015, anysilicon

ICs built using <40nm technology forecast to account for all of the pure-play foundry sales growth in 2015.


The total pure-play foundry market is forecast to grow 6.1% to $44.9 billion in 2015.  The entire increase in pure-play foundry sales is forecast to be due to sales of devices built using leading edge (<40nm) feature sizes.  The <40nm pure-play foundry market is expected to increase 24% to $16.1 billion in 2015 compared to $13.0 billion in 2014 (Figure 1).  In contrast, pure-play foundry sales of ≥40nm devices are forecast to decline 2% to $28.8 billion, based on findings presented in IC Insights’ September Update to the 2015 McClean Report.


Figure 1


Figure 2 shows sales of ≤45nm devices from the Big 4 pure-play foundries on a quarterly basis for 2014 and 2015. IC Insights forecasts that 63% of TSMC’s 2015 sales will be based on ICs built using ≤45nm technology. Furthermore, TSMC is forecast to have about $5.7 billion in sales of ≤20nm devices in 2015 ($5.1 billion from 20nm and about $0.6 billion from 16nm devices).  That would be 2.7x more than the $2.1 billion worth of ≤20nm product the company sold in 2014.  The company began volume shipments of its 16nm devices in 3Q15 and stated, “The ramping of our 16nm will be very steep, even steeper than our 20nm.”


Figure 2


As shown, the portion of ≤45nm sales at GlobalFoundries is expected to decrease five percentage points from 2Q15 to 3Q15.  This drop is due to the inclusion of IBM’s chip sales, much of which is large feature size RF devices, in GlobalFoundries’ sales figures beginning in 3Q15 (the acquisition was finalized in July of this year).


One-third of UMC’s total sales are forecast to come from ≤45nm technology in 2015 and SMIC is expected to sell only $363 million worth of ≤45nm ICs in 2015, or only 2% of the level of TSMC’s ≤45nm sales forecast for this year.


This is a guest post by IC Insights which is a leading semiconductor market research company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA