Sat, Sep 02, 2017 - Page 11 News List

IC Insights capital spending forecast at new high

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

IC Insights yesterday raised its annual semiconductor capital spending forecast to an all-time high of US$80.9 billion for this year, with foundries and NAND flash memory makers spending the most.

The latest projection is higher than IC Insights’ previous estimate of US$75.6 billion and marks a 20 percent growth from last year’s US$67.3 billion in spending.

Among six major segments, DRAM manufacturers are to step up spending at the fastest rate of 53 percent to US$13 billion this year, benefiting from the surge in DRAM prices since the third quarter of last year, the firm said in a report.

Although the majority of the spending is going toward technology upgrades, SK Hynix Inc said that it still cannot keep up with demand through technology advancements alone and it needs to add wafer capacity, the report said.

Foundries are to budget US$22.8 billion for new equipment this year, accounting for the biggest portion of overall spending, IC Insights said.

NAND flash memory chip manufacturers are to spend 33 percent more capital at US$19 billion this year than last, following a 23 percent increase a year ago, it said.

IC Insights said the spending for NAND flash memory this year would mostly be on 3D NAND process technology, including the production of 3D NAND at Samsung Electronics Co’s new fab in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

As all major NAND flash memory companies, including Samsung, Hynix and Micron Technology Inc, are planning to significantly ramp up their 3D NAND flash capacity over the next couple of years, IC Insights said there is to be a rising risk of oversupply.

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