Texas Instruments opened their first manufacturing facility in Singapore in 1969. At the time they opened this first facility, it was the largest manufacturer of semiconductors in the world. Awarded pioneer status by the government, this initial facility was over 49,000 square feet in size and could produce about 40 million semiconductors each year. About 1,400 workers were initially employed, with most of them being women.
Since this momentous occasion for the Singapore semiconductor industry, it has continued to position itself as a world leader in manufacturing and production.
Almost every electronic device that is owned in the world today has at least one component from the semiconductor industry in Singapore equipped to it. Manufacturers are supported by a rich ecosystem, strong networking connections, and an influential trade market that creates global opportunities.
Singapore offers one of the most diverse and productive industries involving semiconductors in the Asia-Pacific region.
Important Singapore Semiconductor Industry Statistics
#1. In 2016, the total market size for the Singapore semiconductor industry was $1.15 billion. Manufacturers within the industry are responsible for 11% of the global market share for wafer foundry outputs. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#2. The world’s top 3 wafer foundry companies, the top three subcontract assembly-and-test companies, and the top 4 fabless IC design companies all have facilities which are located within Singapore. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#3. The Singapore semiconductor industry currently holds a 25% global share of the market for printers. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#4. As part of the overall manufacturing sector, the semiconductor industry in Singapore contributes about 20% to the GDP of the country. Semiconductors contribute about 25% of the total output, which translates to about 5% of the GDP. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#5. Manufacturing output grew 11.9% in 2016 for the industry, lifted by a surge of 24.2% in the demand for electronics. Electronics output for the industry expanded by 12.8% over that same time period. (The Straits Times)
#6. In 2017, the semiconductor industry saw a growth rate of 48%. (Economic Development Board)
#7. In 2017, the output for the electronics cluster within the manufacturing sector grew at 30% compared to 2016 figures. This was supported by the strong growth in semiconductors, which makes up about 67% of the GDP from electronics manufacturing. (Reuters)
#8. Etch equipment has surged in production since 2011, becoming the leading area of manufacturing for the industry with almost 25% of the total market share. At the same time, lithio and resist fab equipment and dipped sharply, falling from nearly 35% of the market in 2008 to just above 20% in 2017. (Semicon Southeast Asia)
#9. Singapore trains about 13,000 engineers and technicians each year to join the semiconductor industry, which creates a steady stream of new talent which keeps production levels consistent. (Singapore Economic Development Board)
#10. In 2015, $64.8 billion in economic output was achieved by the electronics industry in Singapore. From 2005-2014, the industry saw average growth rates as high as 5% to support the sector. (Singapore Economic Development Board)
#11. About 68,000 workers are currently involved in the electronics manufacturing sector, which included semiconductors. That reflects about 17% of the total manufacturing workforce in the country. (Singapore Economic Development Board)
#12. About S$3.3 billion in fixed asset investments were received by the electronics sector in 2015. That represented over 28% of the total commitments of this type in Singapore, which was just behind the chemicals industry, which received 31% of these investments. (Singapore Economic Development Board)
#13. Micron Technology entered the electronics sector in Singapore in 1998 and has grown its site to employ 7,500 people. It’s the largest site for the company outside of the United States. (Singapore Economic Development Board)
#14. In recent years, some products featured within the Singapore semiconductor industry have experienced 100% year-over-year growth, including smartphones, home robots, and unmanned aerial vehicles. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#15. Overall wearable unit sales are expected to reach 30 million units by 2020, which would generate revenues of $5 billion or more. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
#16. Health and fitness devices are expected to contribute another $1.8 billion in revenue, with a projected sale of 20 million units. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
Singapore Semiconductor Industry Trends and Analysis
When there is a large surge within a specific industry segment, replicating that success can be difficult. The semiconductor industry is expected to be softer in 2018 and 2019 compared to the growth experienced in 2017. That doesn’t mean the industry will experience zero growth. Far from it. The levels will just not be as high as 40% in coming years.
Even if growth rates are cut in half over the next years, there will still be strong growth within the industry above 10%.
Many of the world’s top EMS companies are located in Singapore, including Venture, Solectron, and Flextronics. That makes it an attractive industry which provides a solid base for value-added manufacturing activities. New product lines, such as wearables, IP cameras, smartwatches, and gaming consoles will continue to drive orders and demand to keep revenues high.
Singapore is a trade-reliant economy. It flourishes or fails based on the global market for specific products. Because the semiconductor industry is a cyclical industry, growth may reach recession levels within the next 10 years, especially if there is a drop in demand for electronics. Automotive segments for the industry should continue to be strong, but handsets and similar devices will be softer.