Global semiconductor capex to increase 34% in 2021
It takes a couple of years for this capex to result in increased semiconductor output so this record spending will be exactly in time to provide a glut of production capacity in 2023 and 2024 (see A forecast of when the chip market will decline).
In 2021 the foundry chipmakers are forecast to account for more than one-third of capex with spending on factories and equipment for 7/5/3nm processes.
Worldwide semiconductor capital expenditure by product type. Source: IC Insights.
The foundry segment is forecast to represent 35 percent of all semiconductor capital spending in 2021 and TSMC will account for 57 percent of that $53 billion foundry spending. This means that TSMC will be responsible for 20 percent of industry capex in 2021.
Samsung is also a big spender, not only trying to lure fabless chip companies away from TSMC but also being the world’s largest supplier of DRAM and NAND flash memory.
However, the inclusion of China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. on a US blacklist has cut off access to leading-edge equipment, such as extreme ultraviolet lithography equipment, and SMIC’s capex is expected to drop 25 percent to $4.3 billion in 2021, accounting for 8 percent of total foundry outlays in 2021.
For 2021, all of the product segments are forecast to register strong double-digit increases in capital outlays with the foundry and MPU/MCU segments expected to log the largest year-over-year spending increases at 42 percent followed by analog/other (41 percent) and logic (40 percent).
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