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Silicon wafer prices to rise over 30%, says Macronix chairman
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/3/9 15:58:42

Prices for upstream wafers will rise more than 30% in 2018, according to Miin Wu, chairman for Taiwan-based Macronix International, a supplier of flash memory and mask ROM chips.

Macronix has secured wafer supplies for 2018 from Japan-based Sumco and Taiwan's GlobalWafers, said Wu, adding that prices for purchasing the wafers have also been set already.

Wu also commented that the global supply of certain NOR flash products will remain tight in 2018. There was a shortage of all NOR flash chips during 2017.

Several China-based firms have stepped into NOR flash production, and the supply of the chips they produce is unlikely to fall short, Wu noted.

In addition, Wu indicated that Macronix will continue to expand its SLC NAND flash market presence. The company is already the world's third-largest SLC NAND flash vendor, and expects to capture the second spot in 2018, according to Wu.

Macronix is also looking to roll out its 3D ROM products with volume production for orders placed by its gaming device customers slated for the end of 2018, Wu disclosed.

Macronix expects all its three product lines - ROM, NAND and NOR flash - to enjoy robust demand in 2018. The company's 8- and 12-inch production lines are set to run at full capacity utilization rates through the end of the year, Wu said.

Macronix will see its revenues for the second half of 2018 outperform those for the first half, with sales ratio between the first and second halves of the year estimated at 30:70 or 40:60, Wu said.

Macronix swung to net profits of NT$5.52 billion (US$188.2 million) in 2017 from losses of NT$243 million in 2016. EPS for 2017 came to NT$3.12. The company generated revenues of NT$34.19 billion in 2017, up 42% on year, while gross margin climbed 13pp to 37%.

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