Fab Spending Heading for 117 Percent Growth in 2010

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Fab Spending Heading for 117 Percent Growth in 2010

Spending for memories surges again, while LEDs brighten the future

SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 2, 2010 – According to the World Fab Forecast report released today by SEMI, 2010 spending on worldwide fab projects, including construction, facilities, and equipping, will grow 117 percent over 2009 levels. Since June 2009, SEMI’s World Fab Forecast has consistently predicted spending growth rate of more than 60 percent for 2010, and the March release indicated growth in the range of 88 percent.

The table below shows forecasted fab spending with and without discretes, which includes LED fabs. Construction costs typically account for 15 to 20 percent of total fab spending.

Worldwide fab spending (construction + equipping) over time, in US $ millions





2010 (F)

2011 (F)

Fab spending with discretes






Change %






Fab spending without discretes






Change %






The solid-state lighting (SSL) market is picking up. The SEMI World Fab Forecast and the Opto/LED Fab Watch shows that spending for LED-dedicated fabs will surge in 2010. Spending on LED fabs represented about a 40% share of the total discrete fab spending in 2006, but will increase to a 90% share (or more) in 2010 and 2011.

Spending Resumes

At the beginning of this year, it was clear that only a few companies would spend more than $1 billion each in 2010. This has suddenly changed: some companies have announced record levels of capex plans. Last year, most capex went for upgrades but this year will show an increase in spending to rebuild and build capacity.

“Total spending on fab projects could approach $36 billion this year (including discretes), well above the estimated $16.4 billion spent in 2009,” said Christian Gregor Dieseldorff, senior analyst of fab information of the SEMI Industry Research and Statistics group. “The 2010 spending recovery, however, remains still substantially below the $46 billion spent in the 2007 peak year.”

In 2009, 29 volume fabs closed, including eleven 200 mm fabs and two state-of-the-art 300 mm fabs. (Several planned fab closures were pushed out to 2010.) As a result of fab closures and historic low spending levels in 2009, installed fab capacity (without discretes) declined to 13.4 million wafers per month (200 mm equivalent), or -3.6%. Based on current capital spending plans, installed capacity (without discretes) is forecasted to grow about 8 % this year to about 14.6 million wafers per month. Installed capacity for LED fabs is expected to have the strongest growth rate (year-over-year) with 33% in 2010 and 24% in 2011.

The full article is available on the SEMI website: “Companies Roar Again – Fab Spending Growth to Reach 117 Percent in 2010 - Spending for Memories Surges Again, while LEDs Brighten the Future “

The SEMI World Fab Forecast report provides high-level summaries and graphs, in-depth analyses of capital expenditure, capacity, technology and products, down to the detail of each fab, and forecasts for the next 18 months by quarter. These tools are invaluable for understanding how 2010 and 2011 will look, and learning more about capex for construction projects, fab equipping, technology level, and products.

The difference between the SEMI Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Subscription (WWSEMS) data and the World Fab Forecast and its related Fab Database reports is that the fab database reports track any equipment needed to ramp the fab, upgrade, expand or change its wafer size regardless if it is new equipment, used equipment, in-house or transferred equipment, while WWSEMS tracks only new equipment.

Please visit www.semi.org/fabs for additional information on these reports or to see a detailed article.

About SEMI

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. SEMI member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Austin, Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.semi.org.


Steve Buehler/SEMI
Ph: 1.408.943.7049
E-mail: sbuehler@semi.org

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