Industry association SEMI has released its World Fab forecast
Soaring pandemic-inspired demand for chips that power everything from communications and IT infrastructures to personal computing, gaming and healthcare electronics will drive an 8% increase in global fab equipment spending in 2020 and a 13% increase in 2021, SEMI announced in its World Fab Forecast report.
Rising demand for semiconductors for datacenter infrastructures and server storage along with the buildup of safety stock as US-China trade tensions intensify are also contributing to this year's growth.
The bullish trend for overall fab equipment investments comes as the semiconductor industry recovers from a 9% decline in fab spending in 2019 and navigates a roller-coaster 2020 with actual and projected spending drops in the first and third quarters mixed with second- and fourth-quarter increases.
Of all chip sectors, memory will see the largest spending increase in 2020, growing $3.7 billion, or 16% year-over-year (YoY), to $26.4 billion, and tack on an 18% increase to reach $31.2 billion in 2021. 3D NAND spending will log the largest percentage surge this year, expanding 39%, and register modest growth of 7% in 2021. DRAM is expected to see 4% growth after a slowdown in the second half of 2020 before jumping 39% next year.
Equipment spending forecasts for other semiconductor sectors:
The SEMI World Fab Forecast report covers more than 1,300 fabs and lines and includes capacity and technology by fab and construction investments. The report shows 21 new construction projects - ranging from R&D to volume and including high- and low-probability parameters - starting in 2020. China accounts for the most (nine) of the new projects; followed by Taiwan at five; Southeast Asia and the Americas at two each; and Japan, Korea, and Europe/Mideast at one each. The report also tracks 18 new construction projects planned to begin next year - 10 in China, four in the Americas, three in Taiwan, and one in Europe/Mideast.