Despite the Covid-19 pandemic IC Insights believes that most major semiconductor companies will stick with current capex plans in 2020, although the market researcher admits all the risk to that -3 percent forecast is on the downside.

If the Covid-19 outbreak is not contained in the first half of this year, significant cuts to current capital spending budgets will likely occur, IC Insights said.

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending trends 2002 to 2020. Source: IC Insights.

The balance of spending is likely to come from a significant year-on-year decline in memory sector, an increased spend in logic and foundry, partly due to TSMC’s plan to spend $15 billion to $16 billion.

Combined spending from the three memory giants – Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron – was $39.7 billion in 2019 and is forecast to be $33.6 billion this year, down 15 percent.  In contrast, the other semiconductor manufacturers had combined outlays of $62.6 billion in 2019 and are expected to spend $65.4 billion in 2020, a 4 percent increase. For 2020, the foundry segment is once again expected to show the largest growth for spending with an 8 percent increase.

In 2020, the foundry segment is forecast to account for 29 percent of the semiconductor industry’s capex.

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