Semiconductor fab equipment spending is expected to decline by about 11 percent to US$35 billion this year, but that would still mark the third-highest level in the past 10 years, a report released by Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) said yesterday.
Spending on semiconductor fab equipment is expected to drop in the first half of the year, but increase sharply in the second half to approach US$10 billion by the fourth quarter, the global industry association said.
“The fab spending this year would show a decline from the level of US$39 billion recorded last year, but it is still higher than that in 2010,” the association said in its World Fab Forecast report.
Spending in 2007, last year and this year are expected to be the three highest years on record, the report said.
Worldwide, South Korea is the only area expected to show growth in equipment spending this year, mainly because of expected spending by Samsung Electronics Co.
Meanwhile, Taiwan is expected to remain the second-largest semiconductor market this year by spending a total of US$7.05 billion, down 11.9 percent from a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the report.
The association said the current forecast for this year depends largely on the investment plans of the largest spenders.
“While some companies have published their plans for this year, others — including Samsung, Hynix Semiconductor Inc, Intel Corp and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) — could announce higher investment plans than anticipated,” the association said.
Despite the economic situation, 300mm installed capacity is expected to grow at 11 percent this year, while increasing to about 12 to 14 percent next year, SEMI said.