According to the latest report from IC Insights, NJR, Renesas Electronics and Analog Devices will close some old fabs this year and next, and more fabs are expected to close in the next few years. Especially under the impact of COVID-19, the semiconductor industry will accelerate towards manufacturing outsourcing or fabless business models, and leading foundry companies such as TSMC, World Advanced and UMC will directly benefit.

IC Insights reports that during the financial crisis of 2008, global semiconductor fabs began to review the operating costs and performance of their own fabs and shut down some fabs. Since 2009, up to 100 IC wafer fabs have been closed or rebuilt. As semiconductor companies integrate or transition to manufacturing outsourcing or fabless business models, the IC industry has been reducing its old capacity.

In the past few years, the number of mergers and acquisitions in the semiconductor industry has surged. More and more semiconductor manufacturers use 20nm or more advanced process technology to produce chips, and gradually eliminate inefficient wafer fab capacity, of which Japan and North America account for the majority, accounting for about 70% of the overall.

According to IC Insights, Renesas Electronics will close two fabs from 2020 to 2021, while NJR and Analog Devices will each close one fab.

IC Insights expects that the cost of building a new fab is getting higher and higher, more fabs will be closed in the next few years, and more and more semiconductor manufacturers will move towards fabless or partial manufacturing outsourcing.