Semiconductor equipment spending to contract 2.6% in 2012, grow in 2013

July 10, 2012 — Semiconductor equipment sales will reach $42.4 billion in 2012, according to the mid-year edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast, released at SEMICON West 2012.

Driven by consumer demand for tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices, chipmakers continue to purchase manufacturing technology equipment, but at a slightly lesser rate than in 2011. The forecast indicates that, following a 9% capex increase in 2011, semiconductor makers are spending 2.6% less in 2012, although 2012 will be the fourth highest spending year in history, following 2000, 2007, and 2011. The industry is “absorbing new capacity,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. 2012 is part of a “multi-year market expansion,” he added, with 2013 spending to accelerate to $46+ billion.

In wafer processing equipment, the industry will spend $33.0 billion in 2012, the second highest spending year ever for this segment (the best was 2011), falling 3.8% year-over-year (Y/Y). Wafer processing equipment is the largest product segment by dollar value

The market for test equipment ($3.8 billion) and assembly & packaging equipment ($3.4 billion) will remain essentially flat (up 0.2% and 0.9%, respectively, Y/Y).

Growth is forecasted in 2 regions in 2012; Korea and Taiwan will become the largest two markets for equipment spending. 

In 2013, Korea and North America are expected to claim the top spots, with Taiwan slipping to third place in terms of equipment spending.

Tables. SEMI’s market size forecast in billions of US dollars and percentage growth over the prior year. SOURCE: 2012 SEMI Mid-Year Consensus Forecast.

SEMI is a global industry association serving the nano- and microelectronics manufacturing supply chains. For more information, visit or go straight to

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