The world is facing the depletion of sand resources, will CPU wafer prices rise? Not so much

Recently, the report that "the world is facing the depletion of sand resources" has been put on the table by many media. According to the report, the use of sand worldwide has tripled in the past 20 years.

Relevant data show that 10 tons of sand are needed to produce a ton of cement. Construction projects alone consume about 40 billion to 50 billion tons of sand every year. The amount of sand consumed far exceeds the natural growth rate of sand.

The world is facing the depletion of sand resources, will CPU wafer prices rise? Not so much

Not only is there not enough sand, but also a problem happens to break out. In recent days, shinyue chemical of Japan announced a 10-20 increase in the price of silicon products. They are the world’s largest supplier of silicon wafers. Silicon wafers are one of the most important semiconductor materials in the world, and are the basis for manufacturing chips such as CPU, flash memory and memory.

There is not enough sand and the price of silicon chips rises. Many people worry that the combination of these two factors will further aggravate the problem of chip price rise.

However, this is not what you think. First of all, is there enough sand? This topic is also a platitude. Some international environmental protection organizations have raised this question from time to time, and it has become hot again in the past two days.

In fact, it has been several years since the news of insufficient sand was published. The author reported a similar news in 2019: Nature Magazine: the global sand resources are insufficient and need to be standardized.

At that time, it was Nature magazine that released the news. Although it also pointed out that there was not enough sand, they mentioned that the demand would exceed the supply by the middle of the world.

In other words, even if there is not enough sand, it will be 30 years before demand exceeds supply, so this is not a problem in the short term.

Secondly, even if the sand in nature has nothing to do with silicon wafers used for semiconductors, although we all know that the silicon content in the sand is very high, the materials in silicon wafers in the semiconductor industry come from various silicon bearing ores, such as vein quartz, quartz gravel, etc., rather than the river sand mentioned in the news.

As early as in the previous news, the science and Technology Daily has refuted the rumor that the annual production capacity of global polysilicon is about 640000 tons, and only 30000 tons are used to manufacture chips; silicon materials for semiconductors account for only 5% of the total output of silicon materials, so there is no need to worry about the problem of sand.