SEMI World Fab Forecast Reveals Signs of Increased Investment
Total 2009 Fab Spending Expected to Decline by 51%
SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 9, 2009 – According to the latest update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast database, spending on front-end fabs (construction and equipping) has seen a consistent quarterly decline since 2008, and on a year-over-year basis is expected to fall by 51 percent in 2009. On a global scale, construction spending is at its lowest level in 10 years. However, the latest data from the report suggest an increase in investments for both fab construction projects and fab equipping in the second half of 2009, with the trend continuing into 2010. In 2010, investments in fab construction projects are expected to almost double and spending on equipping fabs may increase by as much as 90 percent year-over-year from the significant declines expected in 2009, according to the report.
Investments are actually increasing in the Americas, with a total quarterly spending increasing to almost US$1 billion, mainly due to major investments announced by Intel, as the company moves forward on a planned upgrade to 32nm.
According to the report, 19 fab facilities closed in 2008, and about 35 facilities will close in 2009, though the number of closures should decline in 2010 as only 14 facilities are expected to close. Nine fabs are expected to launch operations in 2009. Overall the trend of new facilities commencing operations has slowed since 1995, due to the fact that most new fabs are 300mm Megafabs for memory production, meaning fewer but larger fabs are needed.
Worldwide installed capacity for 2009 is expected to decline by about three percent, mainly due to fab closures, however data from the World Fab Forecast show that installed capacity for 2010 could increase by about six percent. Memory and logic fabs are expected to take the biggest hit in 2009, with a decline in installed capacity of five to seven percent each due to fab closures.
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The SEMI World Fab Forecast tracks money spent on Front End semiconductor facilities that are equipping, which includes volume fabs, R&Ds and Pilot fabs, fab construction projects, investments for capacity, and investments for technology and product upgrades.
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