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SEMI expects global fab equipment spending to hit a record high of nearly $100 billion in 2022

10/06/2022 SEMI, fab equipment, world fab forecast report, fab, wafer


  On Tuesday, SEMI released its latest quarterly world fab forecast report, predicting that global front-end fab equipment spending will increase by about 9% year-on-year this year to an all-time high of $99 billion. In addition, SEMI President and CEO Ajit Manocha said: "After reaching record levels in 2022, the equipment market is expected to maintain healthy growth next year, driven by new fabs and upgrade demand."

  SEMI expects Taiwan to lead the year in fab equipment spending, up 47% year over year to $30 billion. At the same time, only 22 billion US dollars in mainland China, down 11.7% from last year's peak.

  Second, South Korea slid 5.5% to $22.2 billion, but Europe/Middle East is expected to spend a record $6.6 billion – a 141% year-over-year increase, although the absolute spend is still lower than elsewhere.

  SEMI spending, strong demand for advanced technologies such as high-performance computing (HPC), is driving a surge in spending in Europe/Middle East, while the Americas and Southeast Asia are also expected to receive record-high investment in 2023.

  The SEMI World Fab Forecast report shows that global capacity growth will strive towards 8% in 2022 (to 7.7%), following a 7.4% increase in 2021.

  The last time such a year-over-year growth rate was seen was in 2010, when monthly production capacity of 200mm wafer equivalent exceeded 16 million wafers, about half of the estimated 29 million wafers in 2023.

  Capacity growth at 167 fabs and production lines will account for more than 84% of equipment spending by 2022. That figure is expected to fall back to 79% next year, though, as the 129 known fabs and production lines ramp up their capacity.

  Unsurprisingly, the foundry industry still accounts for the bulk of equipment spending in 2022/2023 (53%), followed by storage (32% and 33% in 2022/2023) – they are also the top two industry players in terms of capacity growth.

  Finally, SEMI listed 1,453 facilities/lines in its September update of its global fab forecast, including 148 volume facilities/lines that will begin production in or shortly after 2022.

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