Fab equipment spending breaks barrier into positive growth this year, led by markets such as South Korea, Taiwan and United States. The growth momentum will continue into 2013 too, SEMI research reveals.
Released Wednesday, the study showed expenditure on wafer fab equipment growing by 2 percent year-on-year to reach US$39.5 billion. The projection was revised upward from the research firm's previous report in January, which predicted that spending was expected to reach US$35 billion in 2012 and represented a decline from 2011's US$39 billion.
It also expects the positive momentum to continue into the next year, forecasting a 17 percent on-year growth from 2012 to US$46.3 billion. While small, SEMI said the growth rate in 2013 represents an "all-time record high" for fab equipment spending assuming macroeconomic factors do not intervene.
In terms of regional spend, the study identified South Korea, Taiwan and the U.S. as countries planning to spend the most on fab equipment this year, at US$11 billion, US$8.5 billion and US$8.3 billion, respectively. South Korea is also expected to lead the list in 2013 with more than US$12.5 billion of investments, followed by the U.S. at US$11.5 billion and Taiwan at more than US$8 billion.
Next year, the largest spending is expected from South Korea again, at more than US$12.5 billion, followed by the U.S. at more than US$11.5 billion and Taiwan at more than US$8 billion.
It was also found that in 2012, 11 new fabs will begin construction, but only 7 new fabs will begin construction next year. The combined planned capacity of new fabs that begin construction in 2012 will be 900,000 wafers per month, in 200 mm equivalents. Memory accounts for 60 percent of this capacity, followed by foundry at 20 percent and System LSI at 20 percent.
The new fabs which begin construction 2013 also have a planned capcity for 550,000 wafers per month.