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Global spending on semiconductor fabrication equipment forecast to reach ‘all-time high’ of almost $100 billion in 2022

Global fabrication equipment spending for front-end facilities is expected to increase approximately 9 percent year-over-year to a new “all-time high” of $99 billion in 2022, according to SEMI.

The industry association revealed its prediction in its latest quarterly World Fab Forecast report. The report also shows the global fab equipment industry increasing capacity this year and again in 2023.

Ajit Manocha, SEMI president and CEO, says: “After achieving a record level in 2022, the global fab equipment market is projected to remain healthy next year driven by new fabs and upgrade activity.”

Fab equipment spending by region

Taiwan is expected to lead fab equipment spending in 2022, increasing investments 47 percent YoY to $30 billion, followed by Korea at $22.2 billion, a 5.5 percent decline, and China at $22 billion, a 11.7 percent drop from its peak last year.

Europe/Mideast this year is forecast to log record high spending of $6.6 billion, a 141 percent YoY surge this year though outlays remain comparatively smaller than in other regions.

Strong demand for high-performance computing (HPC) advanced technologies is driving the region’s jump in spending. The Americas and Southeast Asia are also expected to register record high investments in 2023.

Semiconductor industry continues to boost capacity

The SEMI World Fab Forecast report shows a global capacity increase nearing 8 percent in 2022, reaching 7.7 percent, after a 7.4 percent rise in 2021.

The fab equipment industry last saw a YoY growth rate of 8 percent in 2010, when it topped 16 million wafers per month (200 mm equivalents) – nearly half of the 29 million wafers per month (200 mm equivalents) projected for 2023. Capacity growth is expected to continue in 2023, increasing 5.3 percent.

Capacity increases at 167 fabs and production lines will account for over 84 percent of equipment spending in 2022, a proportion expected to slip to 79 percent next year as 129 known fabs and lines add capacity.

As expected, the foundry sector, with a share of 53 percent, will represent the bulk of equipment spending in 2022 and 2023, followed by memory at 32 percent in 2022 and 33 percent in 2023. The two sectors also account for the largest capacity increases.

The latest update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast report, published in September, lists 1,453 facilities and lines globally, including 148 volume facilities and lines with various probabilities that are expected to start production in 2022 or later.

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