SEMI Forecasts 31% Rise in Equipment Spending and 9% Manufacturing Capacity Increase in 2011

SAN JOSE, Calif. — June 7, 2011 — The SEMI World Fab Database shows increasing capital expenditure and growing installed semiconductor manufacturing capacity in 2011. Fab construction spending, however, decelerates this year and in 2012.  The database tracks spending, capacity and technology node projects for every fab worldwide by company. Spending covers new and used equipment for production, pilot, and R&D fabs, including investments for LED device fabrication.

“2011 is expected to be a record year for fab equipment spending. Since February, some companies have increased capex guidance and, as a result, fab equipment spending should reach an all-time high of about $44 billion. The spending pace is expected to decline 6% to $41 billion in 2012, yet will remain the second highest annual level on record.” said Christian Gregor Dieseldorff, senior analyst of fab information in the SEMI Industry Research and Statistics group.  “However, the number of new volume fabs starting construction is historically low, with potential implications for industry capacity plans in 2012 and beyond.”

Table 1: Equipment Spending (new and used) including Discretes by Wafer Size

Equipment Chart

The SEMI database indicates that 17 new volume fabs (including 13 LED fabs) have a high probability (>60%) of beginning construction this year. Excluding the LED fabs, SEMI predicts only four volume fabs will begin construction this year and another four in 2012. The SEMI fab database also now identifies candidates for investment in the potential transition to manufacturing on 450 mm wafers. Sometime in 2012, the industry will likely see initial equipment expenditures for 450mm pilot development. Construction of the first 450 mm ready facilities began last year, and more will begin construction this year. Overall fab construction spending slows this year and in 2012.  See Table 2.

Table 2: Construction Spending

Construction Spending

The earthquake in Japan on March 11 may have some short-term effect on utilization rates and capacity output, but will not have a significant impact on installed capacity.  Recent Fab Capacity (without Discretes) growth seems to be leveling off to below 10% growth annually.

Installed capacity is expected increase about 9% in 2011 and 7% in 2011. In 2010, the growth rate in capacity of Foundry fabs surpassed Memory fabs, and this trend is expected to continue in 2011, as Foundry capacity will increase by 13% while Memory capacity will increase by 8%. Growth of LED dedicated fab capacity remains in the double-digits with over 40% estimated in 2011, though lower capacity growth is forecasted in 2012. Memory dominates the worldwide installed fab capacity with a 38% share of the capacity this year, followed by foundries with about a 29% share.

The SEMI World Fab Forecast report 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.  The report uses a bottom-up approach methodology, providing high-level summaries and graphs; in-depth analyses of capital expenditures, capacities, technology and products by fab. Additionally, the database provides forecasts for the next 18 months by quarter. These tools are invaluable for understanding semiconductor manufacturing in 2011 and 2012 will look, and learning more about capex for construction projects, fabs equipping, technology levels, and products. The SEMI Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Subscription (WWSEMS) data tracks only new equipment for fabs and test and assembly and packaging houses. Please visit for additional information on these reports or to see detailed articles.


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 Beijing, Bengaluru, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit


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