KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 13): Fab equipment spending will increase at 5% in 2019 for a remarkable fourth consecutive year of growth, according to the latest update to the U.S. based Semiconductor Equipment Materials International (SEMI) World Fab Forecast report published last month.
The report said China is expected to be the main driver of fab equipment spending growth in 2018 and 2019 absent a major change in its plans.
It added that the industry had not seen three consecutive years of growth since the mid-1990s.
SEMI projects Samsung will lead in fab equipment spending both in 2018 and 2019, with Samsung investing less each year than in 2017.
“By contrast, China will dramatically increase year-over-year fab equipment spending by 57% in 2018 and 60% in 2019 to support fab projects from both multinationals and domestic companies.
“The China spending surge is forecast to accelerate it past Korea as the top spending region in 2019,” it said.
SEMI said that after record investments in 2017, Korea fab equipment spending will decline 9%, to US$18 billion, in 2018 and an additional 14%, to US$16 billion, in 2019.
“However both years will outpace pre-2017 spending levels for the region.
“Fab equipment spending in Taiwan, the third-largest region for fab investments, will fall 10% to about US$10 billion in 2018, but is forecast to rebound 15% to over US$11 billion in 2019,” it said.