May 4, 2006 – Despite some losses caused by price wars, Japan’s top seven semiconductor manufacturers are set to spend a record combined 1.01 trillion yen (US $8.91 billion) on facilities and equipment in fiscal 2006, a 7% increase from last year, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, NEC, Elpida, Renesas, and Matsushita Electric aim to try and capitalize on the growing popularity of digital consumer electronics. Together, they account for nearly 90% of total capex outlays projected this year.
Toshiba is boosting its capital investments by 22% this year to 354 billion yen ($3.12 billion), the largest single-year investment for a domestic chipmaker, with nearly 70% of that going toward boosting NAND flash memory, including expanding its Yokkaichi plant in Mie Prefecture. Sony is hiking capex by 21% this year to 170 billion yen ($1.50 billion), to boost production of CMOS image sensors.
Meanwhile, Fujitsu is set to increase its capex budget by 50% this year to 140 billion yen ($1.23 billion), partly to support its growing foundry business. And NEC Electronics Corp. is ramping spending by 20% to 100 billion yen ($882.1 million), with an order in hand to produce chips for Nintendo’s next-generation video game consoles.
The seven companies increased aggregate spending by 10% in fiscal 2005 to 947 billion yen ($8.35 billion), following a big 31% jump to 856 billion yen ($7.55 billion) in FY04.