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11
September
2012

Report: Front-end fab equipment to boom in 2013

New analysis from SEMI, a global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries, predicts that fab equipment spending will grow by 17 percent in 2013.
The latest edition of the SEMI World Fab Forecast lists over 1,150 facilities (including 300 Opto/LED facilities), with 76 facilities starting production this year and in the near future. The database tracks projected spending on equipment and construction.

Semiconductor manufacturing foundries were significant drivers of fab equipment spending in 2012 with over $10 billion combined investment. Their dominance is expected to continue with approximately 10 billion USD additional equipment spending in 2013.

In 2012, the Americas had the largest percentage of fab construction. From 2010 to 2012, over 6 billion USD will be spent in the Americas on fab construction projects led by Intel, Globalfoundries, Samsung, and Micron. Most of these construction projects will be completed by the end of 2012. No immediate new fab projects in the Americas are anticipated, resulting in projected investment for 2013 construction to drop below $500 million from almost $3 billion in 2012.

In 2013, most of the fab construction in will occur in Taiwan, China, and Korea. Samsung has begun an aggressive conversion of up to four existing Memory lines to System LSI. A transition from Flash to System LSI is difficult; some drop in capacity in Memory is expected, but the company is expected to compensate by building a new fab for Memory, in Xian, China, with a massive investment of $7 billion. The fab is expected to begin construction mid-September 2012.

The SEMI World Fab Forecast provides additional detail about the phases for ramping this leading-edge Flash fab with huge potential capacity. Other increases in fab construction investment will come from SMIC’s new fab in Beijing, and TSMC and UMC fab projects in Taiwan.

The SEMI World Fab Forecast uses a bottom-up methodology for evaluating capex for construction projects, fab equipping, technology levels, and products. It provides high-level summaries and graphs; and in-depth analyses of capital expenditures, capacities, technology and products by fab. Additionally, the database provides forecasts for the next 18 months by quarter. These tools aid understanding of how semiconductor manufacturing will look in 2012 and 2013.

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More information can be found here.
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