MILPITAS, CA — Global fab equipment spending for frontend facilities is expected to increase 20% year-over-year to an all-time high of $109 billion in 2022, marking a third consecutive year of growth following a 42% surge in 2021, SEMI said today. Fab equipment investment in 2023 is expected to remain strong.

“The global semiconductor equipment industry remains on track to cross the $100 billion threshold for the first time, as shown in our latest update of the World Fab Forecast,” said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO, SEMI. “This historic milestone puts an exclamation point on the current run of unprecedented industry growth.”

Taiwan is expected to lead fab equipment spending in 2022, increasing investments 52% year-over-year to $34 billion, followed by Korea at $25.5 billion, a 7% rise, and China at $17 billion, a 14% drop from its peak last year. Europe/Mideast is forecast to log record high spending of $9.3 billion this year and, while comparatively smaller than outlays in other regions, its investments would represent staggering growth of 176%. Taiwan, Korea and Southeast Asia are also expected to register record-high investments in 2023.

In the Americas, the report shows fab equipment spending reaching $9.3 billion in 2023, a 13% year-over-year rise following a 19% year-over-year increase in 2022, with the region retaining its fourth-place ranking both years in worldwide fab equipment spending.

The global industry is expected to increase capacity 8% this year after a 7% rise in 2021. Capacity growth is expected to continue in 2023, rising 6%. The fab equipment industry last saw a year-over-year growth rate of 8% 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 85% of equipment spending in 2022 will stem from capacity increases at 158 fabs and production lines, a proportion expected to edge down to 83% next year as 129 known fabs and lines add capacity.

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