© SEMI Analysis | December 18, 2018
Total fab equipment spending reverses course says SEMI
Total fab equipment spending in 2019 is projected to drop 8%, a sharp reversal from the previously forecast increase of 7% as fab investment growth has been revised downward for 2018 to 10% from the 14% predicted in August, according to the latest edition of the World Fab Forecast Report published by SEMI.
Entering 2018, the semiconductor industry was expected to show a rare fourth consecutive year of equipment investment growth in 2019. But the SEMI World Fab Forecast Report, tracking more than 400 fabs and lines with major investment projects, forecast in August a slowdown in the second half of 2018 and into the first half of 2019. Now, with recent industry developments, a steeper downturn in fab equipment is expected (eee top image). The report shows overall spending down 13 percent in the second half of 2018 and 16 percent in the first half of 2019 with a strong increase in fab equipment spending expected in the second half of 2019. Plunging memory prices and a sudden shift in companies’ strategies in response to trade tensions are driving rapid drops in capital expenditures, especially among leading-edge memory manufacturers, some fabs in China, and some projects for mature nodes such as 28nm. Industry sectors expecting record-breaking growth in 2019, such as memory and China, are now leading the decline. Following a sharp fall in NAND flash pricing earlier this year, DRAM prices in the fourth quarter of 2018 began to soften, seemingly ending the two-year DRAM boom. Inventory corrections and CPU shortages continue, prompting predictions of even steeper price declines. Memory makers have quickly responded to changing market conditions by adjusting capital expenditures (capex), and tool orders have been put on hold. DRAM spending may see an even deeper correction in 2019 while NAND flash-related investment could also suffer a double-digit decline next year. A review of spending by industry sector reveals that, while memory capital expenditures were expected to grow by 3 percent in 2019, they are now forecast to drop by 19 percent year-over-year (YOY). DRAM is hit the hardest with a fall of 23 percent, while 3D NAND will contract 13 percent in 2019. China and Korea are suffering the largest drops in spending since the August report. China fab spending fallsProjections for equipment spending in China in 2019 have been revised from US$17 billion in August to US$12 billion, with multiple factors at play including a slowing memory market, trade tensions, and delays in some project timelines. SK Hynix is expected to slow DRAM expansion in 2019. GLOBALFOUNDRIES reconsidered its plan for the Chengdu fab, delaying the ramp. SMIC and UMC are slowing spending. The Fujian Jinhua DRAM project has been put on hold. Korea fab spending downIn August, SEMI forecast that Korea fab equipment spending would decline by 8 percent, to US$17 billion, in 2019 – a projection that has now been slashed to US$12 billion, a drop of 35 percent YoY. Samsung began to reduce equipment investments in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the spending cuts are expected to continue into the first half of 2019. Samsung’s largest projects to be hit are P1 (slowdown) and the ramp of P2 Phase 1 (delayed). Adjustments to the S3 schedule are also expected. Not all memory makers cut capital expendituresWhile SEMI’s detailed, fab-level data show that some memory makers will scale back capital expenditures for 2019, one company stands out. Micron will increase capex for FY19 to US$10.5 billion, up about 28 percent, or $8.2 billion, from FY18. Micron plans to expand and upgrade facilities, invest less in NAND in FY19 than in FY18, and anticipates no new wafer starts. Outlook still upbeat for mature technologiesIn other sectors, especially for non-leading-edge and specialty technologies, some fabs are still increasing investments.
Fab equipment spending by region. Data include new, used, and company-manufactured fab equipment.
Opto – especially CMOS image sensors – shows strong growth, surging 33 percent to US$3.8 billion in 2019. Micro (MPU, MCU and DSP) is expected to grow more than 40 percent in 2019 to US$4.8 billion. Analog and mixed signal investments also show strong growth – 19 percent – in 2019, bringing spending to US$660 million. The foundry sector, the second largest product segment in total investments at US$13 billion, shows a 10 percent rise in 2019.
The recent three-year boom in the semiconductor market was chiefly driven by the memory sector (e.g. DRAM and 3D NAND flash). One company, Samsung, invested at unprecedented levels, lifting the entire industry. Other memory makers rode the wave of the boom cycle by boosting investments. And China’s profile rose with its huge investments. The industry was poised for four consecutive years of revenue growth – a streak not seen since the 1990s.
Now the industry faces well-known threats of inventory correction and the trade war. Both phenomena could slow growth significantly and if both unfold in full force in tandem, the impact could be serious. The data in SEMI’s latest publication of the World Fab Forecast show that the four-year growth streak will not materialize.
Since its August 2018 publication, more than 260 updates have been made to the World Fab Forecast. The report now includes more than 1,280 records of current and 115 future front-end semiconductor facilities from high-volume production to research and development. The report covers data and predictions through 2019, including milestones, detailed investments by quarter, product types, technology nodes and capacities down to fab and project level.
For more information visit SEMI
|Region||2018||2019||Change 2018||Change 2019|
|Europe & Mideast||$4,500||$4,250||11.8%||-5.6%|
For more information visit SEMI
U.S. polysilicon makers laud Phase 1 of China deal The United States’ three remaining manufacturers of polysilicon expressed appreciation to President Trump and praised U.S. negotiators for securing the Chinese commitment to purchase U.S. polysilicon in the first phase of the U.S.-China trade deal.
Dupont explores divestiture of electronics unit Following its recent USD 26.2 billion deal to sell off its nutrition business, DuPont de Nemours Inc. is weighing a divestiture of its electronics unit, according to people familiar with the matter.
AMD bolsters exec leadership team AMD has announced several promotions and one new hire to its senior leadership team, in an effort to enable the company’s continued growth in the high-performance computing, graphics and visualization technologies market.
Webasto opens new battery centre in Jiaxing Webasto has inaugurated its new roof plant and battery center in Jiaxing (Zhejiang Province) close to Shanghai.
Panasonic to expand its manufacturing footprint in India Panasonic is looking to build a new wiring device factory in southern India. The new factory is scheduled to start production in autumn 2021, responding to the increased demand in the country.
Season Group strengthens wireless R&D & manufacturing capability Season Group has invested in, and installed, two high-speed and high-precision wireless communication testers - Rohde & Schwarz’s R&S CMW500 Wideband Radio Communication Tester and R&S CMW100 Communications Manufacturing Test Set.
Rocket Lab expands capabilities in So Cal Rocket Lab announced this week it will open a new facility to serve as its corporate headquarters and provide increased production capacity.
PCB Piezotronics unveils new clean rooms PCB Piezotronics Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MTS Systems Corporation, has announced the completion of environmentally controlled clean rooms at their DePew, New York facility.
European loudspeaker company brings production back home Difficulties manufacturing smaller design series among reasons for the decision to return back to base.
China only region to register pure-play foundry market growth Rise of China-based fabless IC suppliers offers increased opportunities for foundries, IC Insights states in a recent report.
Mycronic receives first SLX order Swedish production equipment specialist, Mycronic, has recieved their very first order of its mask writer SLX.
600 new German jobs as VARTA expands production again The lithium-ion battery market continues to experiencing growth, currently the market is poised to continue to move forward with an annual growth of about 30% – and VARTA wants a big piece of the pie.
FTG achieves S9100D certification at acquired PCB fab Firan Technology Group Corporation has completed and received AS9100D Certification from SAI Global Ltd. for its recently acquired PCB manufacturing facility located in Fredericksburg, Virginia USA (formerly Colonial Circuits Inc.).
Dutch block sale of technology, China miffed Following ASML’s denial of an export license by the Dutch government to sell a piece of critical chip-making technology to the Chinese, China’s ambassador to the Netherlands has issued a statement expressing his country’s displeasure.
DuPont aids S. Korea in photoresist shortage The office of Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, Sung Yun-mo, met with DuPont President Jon Kemp last week to confirm DuPont’s investment in the country’s need for diversification of its EUV photoresist supply.
Volvo building U.S. battery assembly plant In preparation for bringing a new line of electric vehicles to the U.S. market, Volvo announced it will build a battery assembly plant at its existing facility in Ridgeville, South Carolina.
New game consoles expected to trigger demand surge for graphics DRAM and SSD's TrendForce expects the year-end release of new generation game consoles to trigger a demand surge of graphics DRAM and SSD's during the second half of 2020.
A new year begins with new machinery at Swedish Microwave In Motala, Sweden sits Europe’s oldest manufacturer of Low Noise Block down-converters (LNB) for the global satellite market, namely Swedish Microwave (SMW). The company is now kicking off 2020 with an investment in production.
Lucid eyeing April reveal of pre-production sedan Luxury EV manufacturer Lucid has announced that production is underway in Silicon Valley of 80 beta prototypes of its luxury sedan, Lucid Air, to be unveiled in April in New York City.
Ideal Industries moving the ball forward at Cree Following its March announcement that Cree had sold off the entirety of its lighting business to Ideal Industries in a USD 310 million deal, Ideal said it would remain dedicated to pumping investment dollars into the now privately-held Cree Lighting.
Former pSemi exec and CEO Jim Cable retires pSemi Corporation has announced the retirement of former CEO and long-term executive Jim Cable.
Rohde & Schwarz inks agreement to use Benchmark's muscles The German electronics group has signed a strategic agreement with US EMS provider, Benchmark Electronics, to enhance its manufacturing capacities.
Stoneridge appoints new VP of operations Stoneridge Inc. has announced Kevin Heigel as its new vice president of operations.
Gartner: Worldwide semiconductor revenue declined 11.9% in 2019 Intel reclaimed top spot in global semiconductor market; Samsung moved to no. 2.Load more news