The times they are a changin’

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This month's graphic shows the past, present and future of capital spending by some of the top IC manufacturers in North America. It's no surprise to see Intel leading the pack with $4.5 billion in spending forecasted in 2002, a big decline from 2001. TI will cut its spending by some 33 percent over 2001. It's true when they say…the times they are a changing, since less than 12 months ago many fabs were still trying to keep up with demands, which is no longer the case. In order for semiconductor capital spending as a percent of sales to come down to a more “normal” figure of less than 25 percent, capital expenditures must be significantly cut in 2002 even with a quarterly semiconductor market rebound. “Next year's semiconductor capital spending budgets are based upon this year's semiconductor companies financial results. This, of course, does not bode well for the equipment industry in 2002,” notes President of IC Insights, Bill McClean.—MV


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