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Gartner eyes 10.2% growth in semi equipment spending

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor? equipment spending? foundry spending?

Gartner Inc. predicts that global semiconductor capital equipment spending will amount to $44.8 billion in 2011, up 10.2 percent from 2010, and will then slide in 2012.

The market research firm said a looming semiconductor inventory correction, combined with oversupply in foundry, will lead to a 2.6 percent equipment spending decline in 2012.

"Capital spending and the equipment picture have changed little since our last forecast in the first quarter of 2011, in spite of the disastrous earthquake in Japan, which threatened to disrupt the electronics supply chain," said Klaus Rinnen, managing vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "Thanks to herculean efforts by Japanese vendors, the effects of the quake were minimized."

All segments of the semiconductor capital equipment market are expected to experience growth in 2011, Gartner said. The firm's analysts said 2011 spending is being driven by aggressive foundry spending, IDM logic capacity ramping up at the leading edge, and memory companies gearing up for double patterning.

Semiconductor equipment spending forecast

Worldwide Semiconductor Capital Equipment Spending Forecast, 2009-2015 (in millions of $)
Source: Gartner (June 2011)

After the projected 2.6 percent decline in 2012, semiconductor equipment spending is expected to rise 8.9 percent in 2013, according to Gartner's forecast. The next cyclical decline should begin in late 2013, as the impact of memory oversupply takes its toll, the firm predicts.

Last December, Gartner predicted that semiconductor capital equipment spending would decline about 1 percent this year. Earlier this month, the fab tool manufacturer trade group SEMI predicted that spending on new and used semiconductor equipment would grow 31 percent this year, reaching a record $44 billion.

Worldwide wafer fab equipment revenue is expected to grow 11.7 percent in 2011, according to Gartner. Spending by Intel Corp., foundries and NAND flash memory suppliers will drive the need for leading-edge equipment, including immersion lithography, etch, and certain segments in deposition involved in double patterning and critical leading-edge logic processes, Gartner said.

Worldwide packaging and assembly equipment revenue is expected to experience the smallest growth in 2011, 3.6 percent, according to Gartner. Back-end manufacturers realized sizable growth in 2010, but the market began to slow in the fourth quarter of last year, the firm said.

The automated test equipment market is expected to grow about 6.9 percent in 2011, Gartner said. The firm added that its 2011 ATE growth expectations are driven by the continued demand from the SoC and advanced RF segments of the market. Memory ATE will likely pull back in 2011 as DRAM capex softens, though NAND testing platforms should remain strong, Gartner said.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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