Taiwan and China are to build more new high-volume semiconductor fabrication plants this year and next year than any other country, together contributing more than half of all new fabs in the world by constructing eight each, SEMI said in a quarterly report yesterday.
Global chipmakers are to start building 19 new high-volume fabs by the end of this year and another 10 next year to meet accelerating demand for chips from the communications, computing, healthcare, online services and automotive sectors, SEMI, an association that represents the global semiconductor sector, said in its quarterly report.
“Equipment spending for these 29 fabs is expected to surpass US$140 billion over the next few years, as the industry pushes to address the global chip shortage,” SEMI president and chief executive officer Ajit Manocha said.
Photo: Grace Hung, Taipei Times
“In the medium and longer term, the fab capacity expansion will help meet projected strong demand for semiconductors stemming from emerging applications such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and 5G to 6G communications,” Manocha said.
China and Taiwan would lead the way with eight fabs each, followed by the Americas with six, Europe and the Middle East with three combined, and Japan and South Korea with two each, the report said.
In Taiwan, chipmakers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (力積電) and Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進) are investing in new foundry fabs, SEMI said.
TSMC has raised its capital spending budget for this year to a record US$30 billion, and Vanguard, which makes driver ICs for displays and power management ICs, also boosted its capital expenditure for this year by 41 percent to NT$8.5 billion, while Powerchip in March started building a new 300mm fab with an initial investment of NT$278 million.
Chinese semiconductor firms are investing in fabs that make memory chips, foundry or auto chips, rather than advanced chips, SEMI said.
Fabs that produce 300mm wafers would account for most of the new facilities, with construction beginning on 15 fabs this year and seven others next year, SEMI said.
The remaining seven fabs planned over the two-year period would be 100mm, 150mm and 200mm facilities, it added.
The 29 fabs could produce as many as 2.6 million wafers per month in 200m equivalents, the report said.
Of the semiconductor makers beginning construction of new fabs this year, some would start installing equipment next year, but most would not do so until 2023, the report added.
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