Taiwan is expected to overtake South Korea and become the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing equipment spender this year, with the figure soaring 53.3 percent year-on-year to US$15.58 billion, global industry association SEMI said in a report released yesterday.
Taiwan’s strong growth would be a stark contrast to its forecast for global semiconductor equipment sales, which should drop 10.5 percent to US$57.6 billion this year from a record-high of US$64.4 billion last year, the report said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) should be the biggest contributor to the nation’s spending, as the world’s biggest contract chipmaker has budgeted a record expenditure of US$14 billion to US$15 billion for new facilities this year and next year.
A majority of the spending is earmarked for investment in 7-nanometer and 5-nanometer technologies on the back of accelerating 5G development, TSMC said in October.
China is expected to rank second this year, with spending topping US$12.91 billion, down 1.45 percent from last year, while South Korea should come in third after scaling down spending by 3.54 percent to US$10.52 billion, the report said.
North America would take fourth place, with spending increasing 33.6 percent to US$7.78 billion, it said.
The global semiconductor manufacturing equipment market would resume growth of 5.56 percent annually next year to US$60.8 billion and grow to an all-time high of US$66.8 billion in 2021, SEMI said.
“The 2020 equipment market recovery is to be fueled by advanced logic and foundry, new projects in China and to a lesser extent, memory,” the report said.
Taiwan would continue to lead next year, as it is to maintain high spending of US$15.43 billion on advanced technologies, 0.96 percent less than this year, followed by China at US$14.9 billion and South Korea at US$10.3 billion, it said.
In 2021, all sectors tracked by SEMI would grow and a recovery in spending from memorychip makers would hit full stride, it said.
China would ascend to the top position, with equipment sales rising to about US$16.44 billion in 2021, followed by South Korea and Taiwan, SEMI said.
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