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Semiconductor fabricators expected to spend record $68 billion in 2021

Semiconductor fabrication companies are expected to log record spending of nearly $68 billion in 2021 after the 2020 lull caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to industry association SEMI.

“2021 is poised to mark a banner year for global fab equipment spending with 24 percent growth to a record $67.7 billion, 10 percent higher than the previously forecast US$65.7 billion,” says SEMI in a statement.

The organisation adds that all product segments look like they will provide “solid growth rates”.

The predictions are made in the second-quarter 2020 update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast report.

Memory fabs will lead worldwide semiconductor segments with $30 billion in equipment spending, while leading-edge logic and foundry is expected to rank second with $29 billion in investments.

The 3D NAND memory subsegment will help power the spending spree with a 30 percent jump in investments this year before tacking on 17 percent growth in 2021.

DRAM fab investments will surge 50 percent next year after declining 11 percent in 2020, and fab spending on logic and foundry, mainly leading edge, will trace a similar but more muted trajectory, rising 16 percent 2021 after an 11 percent drop this year.

Some segments will see lower fab equipment spending but impressive change rates nonetheless. Image sensors will notch an impressive 60 percent increase in 2020 and add a 36 percent surge in 2021.

Analog and mixed signal will grow by 40 percent in 2020 and 13 percent in 2021. And power-related devices are forecast to register 16 percent growth in 2020 with a healthy jump of 67 percent in 2021.

The SEMI World Fab Forecast report also shows the worldwide fab equipment spending trough in 2020 shifting from the first to the second quarter.

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