The Semiconductor Industry Recovery: Spending and Investments in North America

Bookmark and Share

The Semiconductor Industry Recovery: Spending and Investments in North America

By Daniel Tracy, senior director, SEMI Industry Research and Statistics

What a difference a year makes for the semiconductor industry! Following the strong rebound in the second half of 2009, most analysts and industry watchers are forecasting 15 to 20 percent growth in semiconductor sales for 2010. This would result in a record year for revenues and unit sales. And if growth is in the range of 25 percent— as some are forecasting— semiconductor revenues could approach $280 billion or more for the year.

Based on the turnaround in semiconductor sales, capital spending budgets have been boosted for the year which will increase investments in manufacturing technology and capacity. While total fab capacity declined in 2009 as a number of fabs where shut down, total fab capacity will likely increase by five to six percent this year. Total spending on fabs could increase by over 80 percent for the year (see March 3 SEMI press release.)

Spending in North America is recovering as well with an estimated $9 billion or more forecasted to be spent on construction, equipment, and materials for fabs in North America. As a result, North America is expected to be the third largest spending region (see chart below) on fab-related investments, with 12 fabs investing over $100 million. Key investments include Intel’s on-going upgrades at its facilities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon; GlobalFoundries fab construction project in upstate New York; and Samsung’s 300 mm expansion in Austin, Texas. IBM, IM Flash, Micron, and Texas Instruments continue to invest, upgrading technology and expanding capacity. In addition to these companies, other North American semiconductor companies have announced total capital spending budgets that top $1.2 billion.

Source: SEMI World Fab Forecast, Equipment Market Data Subscription and Materials Market Data Subscription

Since 2001, about $100 billion has been spent on fab construction and equipment and materials spending in North America. North America remains an important region for semiconductor industry technology development and investment.

Learn more at SEMICON West 2010

As of press time, SEMI reports that visitor registration is running more than 60 percent ahead of the same period a year ago, indicating a resurgence of interest in the event. More than 30,000 attendees are expected at this year's event. For companies in the industry, SEMICON West 2010 (July 13-15) represents an excellent opportunity to reconnect and get back to business after the downturn. For complete details on SEMICON West 2010, including exhibition opportunities, the schedule of events, session agendas, and speaker information visit the SEMICON West website at

SEMI Industry Research and Statistics Group

The SEMI Industry Research and Statistics group provides timely market and trend information for market research, competitive analysis, and sales forecasting. We focus on the global semiconductor capital equipment, selected materials markets and fab forecasting data. Please visit for additional information.

May 4, 2010