The semiconductor manufacturing value chain can be split into three main sectors: upstream, midstream, and downstream activities.
Upstream Activities: These involve the procurement of raw materials and production equipment. Silicon is the primary raw material, used to manufacture silicon wafers. Here, businesses engage in mining quartz, purifying silicon, and creating silicon wafers. Additionally, companies involved in the production of semiconductor equipment also fall within this sector.
Midstream Activities: This sector focuses on semiconductor fabrication, testing, and packaging. Silicon wafers are processed into integrated circuits within advanced manufacturing facilities known as fabs. The processes include photolithography, ion implantation, etching, and metallization. Once completed, these semiconductor devices are cut, tested, and prepared for integration into electronic products.
Downstream Activities: This sector involves the incorporation of semiconductors into the final products. Companies in this area use semiconductors to manufacture various electronics such as computers, mobile phones, cars, IoT devices, and many more. This sector includes original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), independent design houses, system integrators, and end-users.
Do your government policies influence the semiconductor manufacturing value chain’s three main sectors - upstream, midstream, and downstream - and thereby affect the global semiconductor industry?