SEMI: Fab spending, construction slowing in 2007, back up in 2008

Investments to equip fabs will slow to just 3% growth this year, down from a 25% surge in 2006. Fab construction investments also are seen in the low single digits (4%-5%) this year — but both areas are expected to pick up again in 2008, according to a new report from SEMI.

Memory fab capacity will expand at double the rate of the rest of the industry this year (33% vs. 16%), with the industry’s top expanders led by Samsung and Hynix, as well as Intel and Micron. SEMI’s report also notes that 85% of all fab spending this year will go to 300mm activities, to increase 300mm capacity by 50% this year.

More than 30 major fab construction projects are taking place this year, soaking up $8 billion in investments ($10 billion for total construction by the end of 2008, when most of them will be online). Another 30 fabs will start volume production this year, with 16 fabs ramping in 1Q08-3Q08.

Geographically, spending is spread out fairly evenly. Taiwan and Japan each represent about 20% of all spending on equipping fabs, SEMI notes, while the US and South Korea make up about 18% each. Excluding Japan, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for more than half (53%) of fab equipment spending in 2007, surpassing $20 billion.

Within that A-P number is a big push from Singapore, where companies including Chartered, Qimonda, and the Tech Semiconductor and Intel/Micron JVs, will push domestic spending from $1.8 billion worth of equipment installations this year to about $3 billion in 2008.

The reports, including “FabFutures” and “Fab Capacity Report” as well as other related reports, were acquired earlier this year by SEMI from Strategic Marketing Associates.


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