Buckle Up for Record Spending in 2017 and 2018

Unprecedented spending for fab equipment expected

By Christian G. Dieseldorff, Industry Research & Statistics Group, SEMI (March 7, 2017)

Fab equipment spending is expected to reach an industry all-time record, to more than US$46 billion in 2017, according to the latest version of the SEMI (www.semi.org) World Fab Forecast.  The record is expected to be broken again in 2018, nearing the US$50 billion mark. See Figure 1.

Figure 1: Fab Equipment Spending (Front End Facilities)

Figure 1: Fab Equipment Spending (Front End Facilities)

These record-busting years are part of three consecutive years of growth (2016, 2017 and 2018), which has not occurred since the mid-1990s.

SEMI published its update of the World Fab Forecast report at the end of February 2017. This report provides updates to 282 facilities and lines equipping in 2017, 11 of which are expected to spend over $1 billion each in 2017. In 2018, SEMI’s data reflect 270 fabs to equip, with 12 facilities spending over $1 billion each.  

The spending is mainly directed towards memory (3D NAND and DRAM), Foundry and MPU.  Other strong product segments are Discretes (with LED and Power), Logic, MEMS (with MEMS/RF), and Analog/Mixed Signal.

China in third place for spending in 2017 an second in 2018

Figure 2: Fab Equipment Spending (Front End) by Region

Figure 2: Fab Equipment Spending (Front End) by Region

China is forecasted to run third for regional spending in 2017, although China’s annual growth is minimal in 2017 (about 1 percent), as many of the new fab projects are in the construction phase.  China is busy constructing 14 new fabs in 2017 and these new fabs will be equipping in 2018. China’s annual spending growth rate in 2018 will be over 55 percent (more than $10 billion), and ranking in second place for worldwide spending in 2018.

In total for 2017, China is equipping 48 fabs, with equipment spending of $6.7 billion; looking ahead to 2018, SEMI predicts 49 fabs to be equipped, with spending of about $10 billion.

Other regions also show solid growth rates.  Europe/Mideast and Korea are expected to make the largest leaps in terms of growth rates this year with 47 percent growth and 45 percent growth, respectively, year-over-year (YoY).  Japan will increase spending by 28 percent, followed by the Americas with 21 percent YoY growth.

Since the last publication on December 2, 2016, the SEMI (www.semi.org) Industry Research team has made 195 changes on 184 facilities/lines. In that time frame, eight new facilities were added and three fab projects were cancelled.

SEMI’s World Fab Forecast provides detailed information about each of these fab projects, such as milestone dates, spending, technology node, products, and capacity information. The World Fab Forecast Report, in Excel format, tracks spending and capacities for over 1,100 facilities including future facilities across industry segments from Analog, Power, Logic, MPU, Memory, and Foundry to MEMS and LEDs facilities.  Using a bottoms-up approach methodology, the SEMI World Fab Forecast provides high-level summaries and graphs, and in-depth analyses of capital expenditures, capacities, technology and products by fab.

The SEMI Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Subscription (WWSEMS) data tracks only new equipment for fabs and test and assembly and packaging houses.  The SEMI World Fab Forecast and its related Fab Database reports track any equipment needed to ramp fabs, upgrade technology nodes, and expand or change wafer size, including new equipment, used equipment, or in-house equipment. Also check out the Opto/LED Fab Forecast.

For more information about the SEMI World Fab Forecast, visit SEMI World Fab Forecast.  You can download a sample report here.


Global Update

March 7, 2017