SEMICON Korea opens tomorrow: Korea IC manufacturing fueled by memory and mobility

SEMICON Korea 2015 at COEX in Seoul opens tomorrow with more than 500 exhibiting companies and an expected 40,000 attendees. With the backdrop of Korea as a pacesetter in the industry in memory and DRAM, today’s SEMICON Korea press conference expressed an optimistic lookout, for both 2015 and for longer-term monolithic growth drivers, like the Internet of Things (IoT).

Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI, summarized recent 2015 semiconductor revenue forecasts, which ranged from IDC’s 3.6 percent to VLSI’s 7.8 percent (IC only). 2015 semiconductor equipment revenue forecasts varied from Gartner forecasting an increase of 5.6 percent to the 15.0 percent growth SEMI forecasted in early December, which would see revenues approaching historic 2011 spending levels.  For semiconductor materials, 2015 could also approach 2011 spending levels. McGuirk described silicon cycles moderating with year-to-year volatility becoming more rational within the consolidated industry.

Semiconductor manufacturing in Korea represents the largest region of installed 300mm fab capacity in the world, with much of the capacity targeted towards both advanced NAND Flash and DRAM.  Korea holds 40 percent of the worldwide Memory output, and is the market leader for installed Memory fab capacity.  According to the SEMI World Fab Forecast, DRAM was a significant driver for the 18 percent growth rates for semiconductor equipment in 2014 and is expected to again fuel growth in 2015. While NAND’s pricing and growth moderated, the tight capacity and expansion of DRAM applications and customer diversity roughly doubled the DRAM ASPs in three years.  Mobility continues to be the primary driver for the Memory market and has kept the pressure on scaling and added functionality. In addition, 3D-IC is now coming to fruition as a solution to NAND to ensure the costs continue to scale with size and transistor density.

Korea fab equipment spending (front-end) in 2015 is forecast to be US$7.8 billion, an almost 28 percent increase over 2014.The combined equipment and materials spending outlook for Korea in 2015 will likely top US$14 billion. The semiconductor, semiconductor equipment, and materials supply chain in Korea is developing depth and breadth and becoming a more complete ecosystem.

The LED market remains an important segment for SEMI members, and this market will experience strong double-digit growth in lighting applications over the next several years. Overall LED fab capacity expansion is stabilizing, and many manufactures continue to transition manufacturing to 4-inch diameter sapphire wafers. Similar to the capacity growth trends, spending on LED fab equipment is also stabilizing with 12 percent growth estimated for 2015. 

Keynotes tomorrow at SEMICON Korea will be presented by Samsung Electronics, Intel, and Cisco Systems. Highlights include: Semiconductor Technology Symposium which addresses the global trends and new technologies of the semiconductor manufacturing process; Supplier Search Program; OEM Supplier Search Meeting; Presidents Reception; and International Standards meetings.

SEMICON Korea 2015 is the leading semiconductor technology event to explore the latest market trends and future developments for technology, featuring extensive technical forums, business programs and standards programs. Key sponsors of SEMICON Korea 2015 include Samsung, SK Hynix, and Dongbu HiTek, plus Lam Research, Applied Materials, Wonik IPS, ASE Group, Advantest, Hanmi Semiconductor, and TEL.

The event is co-located with LED Korea 2015, the largest exhibition in the world for LED manufacturing. For more information on the events, visit SEMICON Korea: and LED Korea:


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