SEMI World Fab Forecast projects new highs in equipment spending

Jan. 3, 2018
The latest report from the technology and business of electronics manufacturing organization says spending on fab equipment investments will reach an all-time high of $57 billion in 2017

The latest SEMI World Fab Forecast report shows that 2017 spending on fab equipment investments will reach an all-time high of $57 billion, an increase of 41 percent year-over-year. SEMI found that high chip demand, strong pricing for memory and competition are driving investments

In 2018, spending is expected to increase 11 percent to $63 billion.

SEMI data shows a surge of investments in Korea, due primarily to Samsung, which is expected to increase its fab equipment spending by 128 percent in 2017, from $8 billion to $18 billion. SK Hynix also increased fab equipment spending, by about 70 percent, to $5.5 billion, the largest spending level in its history. While the majority of Samsung and SK Hynix spending remains in Korea, some will take place in China and the United States. Both Samsung and SK Hynix are expected to maintain high levels of investments in 2018.

In 2018, China is expected to begin equipping many fabs constructed in 2017. In the past, non-Chinese companies accounted for most fab investments in China. For the first time, in 2018 Chinese-owned device manufacturers will approach parity, spending nearly as much on fab equipment as their non-Chinese counterparts. In 2018, Chinese-owned companies are expected to invest about $5.8 billion, while non-Chinese will invest $6.7 billion. Many new companies such as Yangtze Memory Technology, Fujian Jin Hua, Hua Li and Hefei Chang Xin Memory are investing in the region.

Construction spending will reach all-time highs with China construction spending taking the lead at $6 billion in 2017 and $6.6 billion in 2018, establishing another record: no region has ever spent more than $6 billion in a single year for construction.