Global fab equipment spending for front-end facilities is expected to jump 18 percent year-over-year to an all-time high of $107 billion in 2022, marking a third consecutive year of growth following a 42 percent surge in 2021, according to a report by industry association SEMI.
Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI, says: “Crossing the $100 billion mark in spending on global fab equipment for the first time is a historic milestone for the semiconductor industry.
“This significant achievement is a tribute to the relentless drive to add and upgrade capacity to address a diverse range of markets and emerging applications, solidifying expectations for long-term industry growth to enable electronics for the digital world.”
Sanjay Malhotra, vice president of corporate marketing and the market intelligence team at SEMI, says: “Global fab equipment spending is forecast to have another healthy year in 2023 and is expected to remain above the $100 billion mark.
“We expect global semiconductor capacity to maintain steady growth this year and in 2023.”
Fab equipment spending by region
Taiwan is expected to lead fab equipment spending in 2022, increasing investments 56 percent YoY to $35 billion, followed by Korea at $26 billion, a 9 percent rise, and China at $17.5 billion, a 30 percent drop from its peak last year.
Europe/Mideast is forecast to log record high spending of $9.6 billion this year, and while comparatively smaller, this would represent a staggering growth of 248 percent YoY.
Taiwan, Korea and Southeast Asia are also expected to register record high investments in 2022. In the Americas, the report shows fab equipment spending peaking at $9.8 billion by 2023.
Industry continues to boost capacity
The SEMI World Fab Forecast report shows the global industry increasing capacity 8 percent this year after a 7 percent rise in 2021.
Capacity growth is expected to continue increasing, rising 6 percent in 2023. The fab equipment industry last saw a YoY growth rate of 8 percent in 2010, when it topped 16 million wafers per month (200mm equivalents) – nearly half of the 29 million wafers per month (200mm equivalents) projected for 2023.
Over 83 percent of equipment spending in 2022 will stem from capacity increases at 150 fabs and production lines, a proportion expected to edge down to 81 percent next year as 122 known fabs and lines add capacity.
As expected, the foundry sector, with a share of about 50 percent, will account for the bulk of equipment spending in 2022 and 2023, followed by memory at 35 percent. The two sectors also represent most of the capacity increases.
The SEMI World Fab Forecast report lists 1,426 facilities and lines globally, including 124 future facilities and lines with various probabilities that are expected to start volume production no sooner than 2022.