Taiwan firms top global buyer of IC equipment: SEMI

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 - Page 14

Taiwanese chipmakers bought 58 percent more semiconductor equipment last quarter, making Taiwan the world’s biggest export destination for semiconductor equipment for the second consecutive quarter, SEMI said in a statement yesterday.

In the quarter ending September, Taiwanese semiconductor companies, led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), expanded their investment in semiconductor equipment to US$2.34 billion, from US$1.49 billion a year ago, according to SEMI figures.

However, that was down 28 percent sequentially from US$3.25 billion in the second quarter, as the industry entered an inventory correction cycle, which TSMC expected to last until the first quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings dropped 12 percent quarter-on-quarter, or 15 percent year-on-year, to US$9.06 billion last quarter, SEMI said.

“Taiwan is bucking the industrial downtrend by investing more to cope with the industry’s volatility and intense competition. The increase in investment is bringing some hope for the slumping semiconductor equipment market,” Terry Tsao (曹世綸), president of SEMI’s Taiwan and Southeast Asia region, said in a press release.

Next year, Taiwanese chip companies are expected to increase their investment in semiconductor equipment by 2.1 percent annually to US$9.8 billion, SEMI said.

That would again make Taiwan the largest semiconductor equipment importer in the world, SEMI said.