Die and Wafer Banking Is Here to Stay. Is Your Supply Chain Ready?

By Logan Wamsley

According to a new report issued by MarketsandMarkets, the global thin wafer market is estimated to be valued at $10.8 billion by 2025, up from $7.6 billion in 2020 for a CAGR of 7.2%. Key to this remarkable trend is the rapidly increasing consumer demand for miniaturized electronic devices in a variety of industries ranging from smartphones and consumer electronics to portable health monitoring devices. In addition to miniaturization, consumers also have illustrated strong desires for increased output and efficiency, which has prompted component manufacturers to push their innovation potential to its limit.

Should such trends continue, equipment manufacturers and their partners on all levels of their supply need to prepare their infrastructure for storing such components for their designs. Long-term die and wafer banking on one’s own is a costly (die and wafer storage alone requires at minimum a dedicated dry cabinet) and extremely delicate operation; even a minor inaccuracy in terms of humidity regulation or handling protocols has the potential of compromising several years’ worth of critical inventory very quickly.

The most effective solution for companies who wish to incorporate die and wafer banking into their supply chain without significant upfront cost is to acquire the use of a third-party die and wafer banking provider. In this realm, Partstat has the ability to offer the most advanced die and wafer banking solution available. Unlike most providers, our desiccant dry cabinets are infused with a volcanic compound called zeolite that is capable of maintaining a relative humidity of 0.5%, as well as a recovery time well under three minutes which allows handlers to safely access the inventory 10-12 times per hour. Compare this with a standard nitrogen-infused cabinet, which can only maintain a relative humidity between 6% and 10% and be handled only 2-3 times per hour.

For additional business continuity, Partstat goes the extra length to store its desiccant dry cabinets in the industry’s only custom storage vault, which provides additional protection against fires over 2,000 degrees, magnetic interference, floods, earthquakes, and any other known risks to sensitive electronic inventory. The vault even features a 1,100 lb. door that is the same design as those used by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Air Force.

As consumers demand more from the products they purchase, equipment manufacturers must adapt their supply chains to adhere to those demands. Knowing how their infrastructure must change, and what partners must be utilized, to properly incorporate die and wafer banking is a good place to start.