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Date: 06-06-15

Semiconductor market, both devices and fab-equipment is no more cyclical

Not only the semiconductor chip market which is been growing from past three years and is estimated to grow in year 2015, even the semiconductor fabrication equipment market is symbolizing a more of a non-repetitive growth pattern, there is lesser chances of cyclical growth and decline which used to happen all these years. The new findings forecasted by semiconductor manufacturing equipment body SEMI confirms the trend, where it forecasts equipment spending could grow every year for three years in a row: 2014, 2015, and 2016.

SEMI reported semiconductor fab equipment spending (new, used, for Front End facilities) is expected to increase 11 percent (US$38.7 billion) in 2015 and another 5 percent ($40.7 billion) in 2016. Capital expenditure (capex without fabless and backend) by device manufacturers is forecast to increase almost 6 percent in 2015 and over 2 percent in 2016, as per SEMI, calling it a depart from the typical historic trend over the past 15 years of two years of spending growth followed by one of decline.

The recent study by SEMI lists over 48 facilities making DRAM products and 32 facilities making NAND products. The report also monitors 36 construction projects with investments totaling over $5.6 billion in 2015 and 20 construction projects with investments of over $7.5 billion in 2016.

2015 spending is estimated to be driven by memory and Foundry with Taiwan and Korea projected to become the largest markets for fab equipment at $10.6 billion and $9.3 billion, respectively, according to SEMI. The market in the Americas is forecasted by SEMI to reach $6.1 billion, with Japan and China following at $4.5 and $4.4 billion, respectively. Europe/Mideast is predicted to invest $2.6 billion and the fab equipment market in South East Asia is expected to total $1.2 billion in 2015, says SEMI.

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