Chip-making equipment spend flat in 2012

March 13, 2012 // By Peter Clarke
The amount of money spent annually on semiconductor fab equipment is expected to be flat in 2012, according to the latest forecast from industry body Semiconductor Equipment Materials International.

The total spending on fab equipment spending is estimated to be $38.85 billion for 2012, flat with 2012, and a record $45.50 billion for 2013, up 17 percent.

However, the spend on equipment for 300-mm fabs is growing, SEMI estimates. A spend of $34.27 billion in 2012 would be up 14 percent on 2011 and $40.58 billion spend in 2013, up 18 percent on 2012.

Eight companies, including Samsung and Intel, will keep their fab equipment spending level above $2 billion in 2012, according to SEMI. Hynix is expected to spend $3.75 billion in 2012 and UMC has said it plans to spend $2.0 billion in 2012, SEMI added.

The spending trend is expected to continue into 2013 especially for the foundry, digital logic, microprocessor and NAND flash memory sectors.

While installed capacity for DRAM is expected to level out, flash capacity is growing rapidly between 2010 and 2013. The dedicated foundry sector will also undergo growth in installed capacity with contributors from TSMC, Globalfoundries and UMC.