Gartner has projected the worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment spending is projected to total $34.6 billion in 2013, an 8.5 percent decline from 2012 spending of $37.8 billion. Gartner predicts in 2014 semiconductor capital spending to increase 14.1 percent, followed by 13.8 percent growth in 2015. The next cyclical decline will be a mild drop of 2.8 percent in 2016, followed by a return to growth in 2017
The points highlighted by Gartner includes:
Capital spending will decrease 6.8 percent in 2013, due to diminishing 28-nanometer (nm) investment from a softening in the mobile phone market.
Memory spending has picked up some of the slack and the total spending in the second half of 2013 should outpace the first half of the year.
The top three companies (Intel, TSMC and Samsung) account for more than half of 2013 spending. Spending by the top five semiconductor manufacturers exceeds 65 percent of total 2013 spending, with the top 10 accounting for 76 percent of the total.
2013 spending will be back-half-loaded, with capacity increases occurring as memory market conditions improve, and Intel prepares for initial 14-nm production late in the year.
Gartner predicts that wafer fab manufacturing capacity utilization will hover in the high-70 percent to low-80 percent range during the first half of 2013 and building to the mid-80 percent range at the beginning of 2014. Leading-edge utilization will move into the low-90 percent range by the end of 2013, providing for a positive capital investment environment.