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TSMC tops Intel in capex ranking despite $1B cut

Posted: 07 Jul 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Capex? chip company? CMOS?

Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Company (TSMC) took Intel's spot in a ranking of chip companies based on forecast capital expenditure in 2015 as the world's largest chipmaker slipped to third place, according to data compiled by Semico Research.

Another notable move in the top 15 ranking is the projected year-on-year doubling of capex planned by Sony for the manufacture of CMOS image sensors to take it to $2 billion and seventh position.

For this year, the total spend across the industry is set to be $68.7 billion, up 9 per cent from $63.3 billion in 2014.

Total semicon capex

Total semiconductor capital expenditures, 2009-2015. (Source: Semico Research)

The top 15 companies account for 89 per cent of the total spending. Samsung retains a top spot it held in 2014 but foundry TSMC jumps to second place overtaking Intel. At positions four and five Globalfoundries switched places with SK Hynix as the foundry expects to increase spending 22 per cent this year versus Hynix's 5 per cent increase.

The bulk of Sony's increased capex is to expand CMOS image sensor production capacity, but some will also be spent on camera module production capacity, a relatively new market for Sony. Sony's dollar increase is second only to Samsung's, but this is partly due to the decline in value of the yen.

Top 15 capex spenders

Top 15 capital expenditure spenders 2014 and 2015. (Source: Semico Research)

TSMC is overtaking Intel despite its 2015 capex being reduced by $1 billion to about $10.8 billion. Globalfoundries is increasing its capex by about $1 billion almost all of which is for ramping production of 14nm FinFET process obtained from Samsung at its New York fab.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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