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Key Supplier of Wafers for Chips Has Sold Out Through 2026

  • Sumco expects supply-demand imbalance to last five years
  • Silicon wafer maker sees little room for factory expansion
Manufacturing of semiconductors.
Manufacturing of semiconductors.Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg
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Sumco Corp., a key supplier of silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry, said it has already sold out its production capacity through 2026, a sign shortages in the industry may not abate for years.

The Japanese company, one of a handful to provide the specialized silicon slabs that chipmakers use to create their designs, has orders to cover all output of its 300mm wafers for the next five years, it said after reporting earnings on Wednesday. It is not taking such long-term orders for 150mm and 200mm wafers, but demand is likely to keep surpassing supply for years to come, the company said. The price of wafers rose by 10% in 2021 over the previous year and Sumco expects to see increases continue until at least 2024.