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IC manufacturing spending to decline in 2012

Posted: 23 Mar 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor manufacturing equipment  research  semiconductor capital spending 

Worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending would decline 11.6 per cent totalling Rs.1.93 lakh crore ($38.9 billion) in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. "Weak market conditions in the second half of 2011 caused pullbacks in expansion plans throughout the semiconductor manufacturing industry," said Klaus Rinnen, managing vice president, Gartner.

"This investment weakness will continue through the first half of 2012 and will surge in the second half of the year. We're basing these assumptions on the aggressive spending plans announced by the major semiconductor manufacturers. There is a risk that some capacity expansion plans will slip from the second half of 2012 into 2013."

However, Gartner said worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending will return to double-digit growth in 2013 when spending is projected to total Rs.2.13 lakh crore ($43 billion), a 10.5 per cent increase from 2012.

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is forecast to total Rs.3.01 lakh crore ($60.9 billion) in 2012, down 7.3 per cent from 2011 spending of Rs.3.26 lakh crore ($65.8 billion) in 2011. Capital spending is expected to grow 3.5 per cent in 2013.

The wafer fab equipment (WFE) market closed out 2011 with spending up 13.3 per cent, based on strong momentum in the first half, however, WFE spending is forecast to decrease 12.7 per cent. WFE spending in 2012 will primarily be on leading-edge technology, as the 20mm and 28/32 nm ramp up.

Gartner analysts said wafer fab manufacturing capacity utilisation will decline into the low 80 per cent range by the middle of 2012, before slowly increasing to about 90 per cent by the end of 2012. Leading-edge utilisation will return to the low 90 per cent range by the second half of 2012, providing for a positive capital investment environment.

Back-end equipment markets (which include wafer-level packaging and assembly equipment, die-level packaging and assembly equipment, and automated test equipment (ATE)) will see a modest decline in 2012, but it will be followed by growth and sales of more than Rs.47,029.70 crore ($9.5 billion) in 2013.

"Above market action in advanced packaging will not be sufficient for a positive growth rate this year, but it will be the driver for growth in 2013," Rinnen said.

The capital spending forecast estimates total capital spending from all forms of semiconductor manufacturers, including foundries, and back-end assembly and test service companies.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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