Global semiconductor equipment billings grew 13 percent year-on-year to US$15.57 billion in the first quarter, with Taiwan remaining the top spender, trade group SEMI showed in a report released on Wednesday.
Taiwanese semiconductor makers spent US$4.02 billion on equipment last quarter, up 6 percent from US$3.81 billion year-on-year, the report showed.
The nation’s equipment spending was bolstered by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) investment in leading-edge technologies, including for 7-nanometer, 5-nanometer and 3-nanometer chips.
TSMC, the world’s biggest chipmaker, plans to invest between US$15 billion and US$16 billion on new facilities and equipment this year, expecting strong demand for 5G-related chips and high-performance-computing devices such as servers.
China’s equipment spending grew fastest last quarter, up 48 percent to US$3.5 billion from US$2.36 billion a year ago, ranking second highest in the world, according to SEMI.
South Korea ranked third with billing totaling US$3.36 billion, up 16 percent from US$2.89 billion a year ago, as its chipmakers, led by Samsung Electronics Co, boosted investments on memorychip manufacturing technologies.
Europe is the only region in the world that saw equipment billings contract, down 23 percent annually to US$640 million last quarter from US$840 million year-on-year.
On a quarterly basis, global semiconductor billings shrank 12.53 percent from US$17.8 billion in the fourth quarter last year, with Taiwan’s spending declining 35 percent from US$6.2 billion.
China spent 18 percent less compared with US$4.29 billion in the final quarter of last year.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s billings increased 46 percent from US$2.3 billion, and Europe’s expanded 36 percent from US$470 million, SEMI’s report showed.
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