The semiconductor industry is nearing a third consecutive year of record equipment spending with projected growth of 14 percent (YOY) in 2018 and 9 percent in 2019, a mark that would extend the streak to a historic fourth consecutive growth year, according to the latest update of the World Fab Forecast report published by SEMI. Over the semiconductor industry’s 71-year history, only once before – in the mid 1990s – has the industry logged four consecutive years of equipment spending growth.
Korea and China are leading the growth, with Samsung dominating global spending and ascendant China on a fast, steep rise, surging ahead of all other markets. See Figure 1.
While Samsung is expected to reduce equipment investments in 2018, the company still accounts for a dominant 70 percent of all investment in Korea. At the same time, SK Hynix is increasing its equipment spending in Korea.
China’s equipment spending is forecast to increase 65 percent in 2018 and 57 percent in 2019. Notably, 58 percent of investments in China in 2018 and 56 percent in 2019 stem from companies with headquarters in other regions such as Intel, SK Hynix, TSMC, Samsung, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Domestic, Chinese-owned companies – backed by large government initiatives – are building a considerable number of new fabs that will start equipping in 2018. The companies are expected to double their equipment investments in 2018 and again in 2019.
Other regions are also ramping up investments. Japan is increasing equipment spending by 60 percent in 2018, with the largest increases by Toshiba, Sony, Renesas and Micron.
The Europe and Mideastern region will boost investments by 12 percent in 2018, with Intel, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Infineon and STMicroelectronics the largest contributors.
Southeast Asia will boost investments by more than 30 percent in 2018, although total spending is proportionately smaller than in other regions owing to its size. The main contributors are Micron, Infineon and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, though companies including OSRAM and ams are also increasing investments.
The SEMI World Fab Forecast, which also includes information on other companies, covers data and predictions through the end of 2019, including milestones, detailed investments by quarter, product types, technology nodes and capacities down to fab and project level.
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