Coming off a recovery year in 2010, the semiconductor manufacturing equipment market is expected to see modest growth for 2011, according to the year-end edition of the SEMI Capital Equipment Forecast, released at Semicon Japan in Tokyo this week.
SEMI projects that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment will reach $41.8 billion in 2011, up just 4.7% over 2010, but bringing the numbers roughly in line with 2007 investment levels. This follows a 151% market increase in 2010. The numbers are expected to drop about 10.8% in 2012 before resuming growth in 2013.
“Given the exceptional growth in the market from 2009 to 2010, the lower growth rate in 2011 is expected, not surprising,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “The industry experiences highly cyclical markets, with the rebound likely to occur in 2013.”
In fact, only wafer processing equipment is expected to make gains in 2011, rising by 9.3%. It is the largest segment of the semiconductor manufacturing equipment market in terms of dollar value, reaching almost $32.7 billion this year. This will be offset by declines in the other two segments. SEMI’s forecast predicts that the market for assembly and packaging equipment will drop 12.5% to $3.4 billion; and the market for semiconductor test equipment is forecasted to decline by 10.3%, reaching $3.7 billion this year.
Geographically speaking, growth is expected this year in four regions: Europe, 66.9%; North America, 53.0%; Japan, 31.2%; and China, 2.3%. In 2012, only South Korea is expected to have positive growth (7.5%), but the market is expected to rebound for all regions except South Korea the following year.