Taiwan Market Continues to Lead the Semiconductor Industry in Equipment and Materials Spending


Taiwan Market Continues to Lead the Semiconductor Industry in Equipment and Materials Spending


By Dan Tracy and Clark Tseng, Industry Research and Statistics, SEMI

Semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan have benefited from the mobile device market and have boosted spending and investments in advanced process technologies and packaging to provide solutions for the mobile market. Currently, the Taiwan market is the largest spending market on equipment and materials used in semiconductor manufacturing. Out of the estimated $330 billion spent globally on equipment and materials from 2010 to 2013, almost $80 billion has been spent in Taiwan, and it is expected that combined equipment and materials spending in Taiwan will approach $21 billion this year and $22 billion in 2015.


Source: SEMI July 2014

In the near-term, spending in Taiwan is driven by strong foundry CAPEX, technology upgrades at DRAM makers, and increases in investments by packaging subcontractors. TSMC is estimated to be investing over $8.5 billion in its fabs this year, particularly in expansion and upgrades related to Fabs 12 (Hsinchu) and 14 (Tainan). Next year, it is projected that TSMC will continue to invest in Fab 12 (Phase 6 and 7) and Fab 14 (Phases 6 and 7). UMC is continuing to make investments in 28-nm processing capacity in its Fab 12A. For the memory companies, Micron (Inotera and Rexchip) are investing in 20nm technology at their respective fabs. Nanya, Winbond and Macronix are also beefing up their technology investment.

The Assembly & Packaging and Test equipment markets in Taiwan are now forecasted to grow over 20% in 2014. A CAPEX decline was initially estimated based on announcements from backend companies at the start of the year; however, strong demand for wafer bumping, wafer-level packaging, and other advanced packaging form factors have resulted in a boost in CAPEX. In its shareholders meeting , ASE stated that it would spend approximately $1 billion in CAPEX for 2014, which is higher than the previously announced $700 million in spending. Likewise, Siliconware (SPIL) and KYEC announced higher spending plans following the first quarter. For SPIL, spending is now projected to be about $600 million, up from the previously stated $490 million to further expand flip chip capacity. KYEC now looks to spend about $200 million compared to the previously announced $166 million in light of stronger than expected mobile chip demand. Low growth is forecasted for the Assembly & Packaging equipment market in Taiwan for 2015, while some contraction for Test equipment is expected.

In summary, spending in Taiwan is driven by 1) TSMC’s strong CAPEX, 2) technology upgrades at DRAM makers, and 3) increases in investments by packaging subcontractors; thus, putting 2014 equipment spending in the region at $11.6 billion. Again, Taiwan is forecasted to be the largest spending region for both 2014 and 2015, marking five out of the past six years as the number one equipment market.

The upcoming SEMICON Taiwan 2014 — the premier microelectronics event in Taiwan which will be held on September 3-5 in Taipei — will feature topics ranging from 3D IC to new memory devices, MEMs, advanced packaging, and much more. More over 110 business and technology speakers will address various topics in 21 business and technology sessions during the three days including the SiP Global Summit 2014.The Executive Summit on September 3rd will feature speakers from ASE, Cadence, imec, Inotera, and TSMC. The Memory Summit on September 5th will include presentations and panelists from ChipMOS, Inotera, ITRI, Lam Research, Micron, MXIC, and Walton. Registration for SEMICON Taiwan 2014 is now open at www.semicontaiwan.org.

August 5, 2014