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Gradual growth for fab equipment mfg eyed for 2016

Posted: 16 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductors? semicon manufacturing? equipment spending?

The semiconductor manufacturing market sees gradual growth in 2016, but is forecast to accelerate in 2017, said the fab tool vendor trade group SEMI. SEMI projects that the market for front-end fab toolsincluding new, used and in-house equipmentwill be worth about $37.2 billion in 2016, up 3.7% compared to 2015.

SEMI's World Fab Forecast report calls for additional growth of 13% in 2017, when the market is forecast to be worth $42.1 billion.

Silicon foundries, production of 3D NAND flash memory and the ramp up to 10nm production are expected to be the biggest drivers of fab tool spending over the next two years, SEMI said.

Equipment spending for 2015 totalled about $35.9 billion, down about 0.4% from 2014, according to SEMI.

Fab tool spending is expected to pick up slowly in the first half of this year and accelerate in the second half, SEMI (San Jose, Calif.) said.

Equipment spending by dedicated foundries, the largest fab tool spending segment, declined by 8% in 2015 to $9.8 billion, SEMI said, but is expected to increase by 5% in 2016 and an additional 10% in 2017, according to SEMI.

equipment spending

Figure 1: Fab equipment spending over time. (Source: SEMI)

Fab tool spending among DRAM vendors, the second largest equipment buying segment, is projected to decline by 23% in 2016, then grow by 10% in 2017, according to the forecast.

Spending on tools for 3D NAND production, including 3D Xpoint from Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc., doubled in 2015, when it accounted for $3.6 billion SEMI said. The trade group expects spending on tools for 3D NAND to increase by about 50% in 2016, reaching more than $5.6 billion.

Six of the top 10 semiconductor equipment buyers plan to increase spending in 2016, but Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the largest spender on fab tools, is expected to decrease spending, SEMI said.

Equipment spending growth in 2017 is expected to be buoyed by 24 new facilities that began construction last year or are expected to begin construction this year, according to SEMI. The projects are located throughout the world, with eight alone underway in China, SEMI said.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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