150+ fab projects lead to strong 2010, 2011

(September 7, 2010) — The World Fab Forecast released at the end of August indicates a 133% increase in equipment spending for front-end fabs this year and about 18% growth in 2011. Worldwide installed wafer fab capacity (without Discretes) is expected to grow by 7% in 2010 and another 8% in 2011. Fab construction spending will increase by 125% in 2010 and an additional 22% in 2011. The data reveals that for both 2010 and 2011, over 150 fab projects will contribute an estimated $83 billion in spending. The projects tracked include construction projects and equipment spending for high volume, smaller capacity, MEMS, and Discrete, including LED, fabs.

Robust semiconductor equipment spending continues

Most of the current investments in construction assure additional capacity for the future. The World Fab Forecast has identified a total of 54 construction projects underway in 2010 and the result is about $4.5 billion in construction spending. About half of these projects are for LED facilities (mostly in China). In 2011, fewer but larger fabs will carry higher construction costs, about $5.5 billion. 

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Spending on equipping fabs will increase by 133% in 2010 to an estimated $34 billion. This is a record growth rate, off of the historic low of 2009, where wafer fab equipment spending struggled to $16 billion, a 10-year low. Compared to 2008 spending, 2010 total equipment spending will be only 27% higher. Compared to 2007, 2010 spending will be 11% lower. The World Fab Forecast report predicts spending in 2011 to increase 18%, bringing total spending to $39B, finally surpassing 2007 spending levels.

SEMI’s World Fab Forecast also provides details of facilities beginning operations in 2010 and 2011. By the end of 2010, about 22 facilities will begin operations. Analyzed by sector, half of these are LED, six are Foundries, three are Analog and two are Logic. No new Memory fabs will begin operation in 2010. In 2011, another 28 facilities are expected to begin operations, including four Memory fabs.

More wafer fab capacity expected

Worldwide installed fab capacity (without Discretes) is expected to grow by 7% by the end of 2010 to 14.4 million 200mm equivalent wafers per month (wpm), and by another 8% in 2011 to 15.8 million wpm. The Memory sector accounts for the largest share of worldwide installed capacity, about 41% in both 2010 and 2011. Foundry capacity follows having grown their market share from 24% in 2009 to 26% in 2011.

SEMI’s World Fab Database reports continue to track individual fab projects very closely. Updates and more information on the reports can be found at www.semi.org/fabs. The SEMI World Fab Forecast report provides high-level summaries and graphs, in-depth analyses of capital expenditure, capacity, technology and products, down to the detail of each fab, and forecasts for the next 18 months by quarter.

SEMI is the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries. For more information, visit www.semi.org

For historical data, read Fab spending still a "wild ride" in 2009 by Christian Gregor Dieseldorff, SEMI
SEMI’s World Fab Forecast tracks money spent on frontend semiconductor fabs that are equipping, including R&D and pilot fabs, fab construction projects, and capacity investments per fab. Unlike the SEMI Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Subscription (WWSEMS) data, the World Fab Forecast and its related Fab Database reports track any equipment needed to ramp the fab, upgrade, expand, or change its wafer size regardless if it is new equipment, used equipment, or transferred equipment, while WWSEMS tracks only new equipment.


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