Europe plays catch up in fab equipment spending

Market news |
By Peter Clarke

European fab spending is expected to almost triple year-on-year in 2022, albeit from a small base, and exceed Americas region spending, according industry organization SEMI.

The Europe, Middle East total is expected to increase by 176 percent to US$9.3 billion this year but this will still leave the region as less than a tenth of a total spend dominated by Taiwan, South Korea and China.

Global fab equipment spending is expected to increase by 20 percent year-on-year to US$109 billion in 2022 following a 42 percent leap in 2021.Taiwan is expected to lead fab equipment spending in 2022, increasing investments 52 percent YoY to US$34 billion, followed by Korea at US$25.5 billion, a 7 percent rise, and China at US$17 billion, a 14 percent drop from its peak last year.

The Americas is expected to spend US$8.2 billion on fab equipment in 2022, a rise of 19 percent year-on-year and then increase by 13 percent to US$9.3 billion in 2023.

Global fab spending is expected to continue at US$109 billion in 2023.

World Fab Forecast

“The global semiconductor equipment industry remains on track to cross the $100 billion threshold for the first time as shown in our latest update of the World Fab Forecast,”said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI. “This historic milestone puts an exclamation point on the current run of unprecedented industry growth.”

The SEMI World Fab Forecast report shows the global industry increasing capacity 8 percent in 2022 after a 7 percent rise in 2021. Capacity growth is expected to continue in 2023, rising 6 percent. Over 85 percent of equipment spending in 2022 will stem from capacity increases at 158 fabs and production lines, a proportion expected to edge down to 83 percent in 2023 as 129 known fabs and lines add capacity. 

As expected, the foundry sector, with a share of about 53 percent, will account for the bulk of equipment spending in 2022 and 2023, followed by memory at 33 percent in 2022 and 34 percent in 2023. The two sectors also account for the largest capacity increases.

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