© SEMI Analysis | December 18, 2019
Global fab equipment spending rebounds in second half of 2019
Projected 2019 global fab equipment spending has been revised upward to USD 56.6 billion on the strength of surging memory investments in the latter part of the year after a weak first half, SEMI reports in its World Fab Forecast.
SEMI data now point to just a 7% decline in fab equipment investments from 2018 to 2019, a marked improvement on the previously forecast drop of 18%. Rising investments in memory – particularly 3D NAND – leading-edge logic and foundries have powered the turnaround. SEMI has also revised its 2020 fab equipment investment projections to a more upbeat USD 58 billion. The rebound snaps a global slowdown in fab equipment spending that saw total investments drop 10% in the second half of 2018 and 12% in the first half of 2019 as indicated by the yellow trend line in picture. During the first six months of 2019, fab equipment spending for memory fell 38%, to below USD 10 billion, as 3D NAND sector investments took an especially hard hit, plunging 57% from the second half of 2018. DRAM investments fell 12% in the second half of 2018 and another 12% in the first half of this year. The downtrend shifted abruptly toward the end of 2019. Investments in leading-edge logic and foundry are now expected to climb 26% in the second half of 2019, lead by TSMC and Intel, and 3D NAND spending will skyrocket more than 70% over the same period. While the decline in DRAM investments continued in the first half of this year, the descent since July has been more muted. Lead by Sony, image sensors spending is expected to jump 20% in the first half of 2020 and soar by over 90% in the second half, peaking at USD 1.6 billion. Investments for power-related devices, driven by Infineon, ST Microelectronics and Bosch, are projected to grow by over 40% in the first half of 2020 and another 29% in the second half, reaching nearly USD 1.7 billion.