Weak semiconductor memory market brings down growth of fab equipment revenue
The semiconductor fab equipment has seen continous growth for three years in 2020, 2021 and 2022, mainly driven by the fab expansions in Asia and new fabs in China. But in 2023, it drops by 8.3%. Some are predicting it will pick up growth in 2024. However market looks to be uncertain due to geopolitcal and also due to over all market weakness.
Market researcher Yole shared these below latest findings and its analysis on this market:
The total revenue for the semiconductor equipment industry, known as WFE (Wafer Fabrication Equipment), is projected to experience a decline of -8.3%. The revenue is expected to decrease from US$101 billion in the calendar year 2022 to US$93 billion in the calendar year 2023. In the first quarter of 2023, there was a decline of -7% compared to the previous quarter (QoQ), and it is anticipated to face a further -11% decline in the second quarter of 2023.
This downward trend in revenue is accompanied by a reduction in order intake. Despite these challenges, it is estimated that the new normal for quarterly revenue will be in the range of US$20 billion to US$25 billion, which is still relatively high. The primary cause of this decline is attributed to memory chip manufacturers postponing or even canceling equipment orders, despite the significant lead times and high fab utilization rates. To compensate for these lost orders, equipment vendors are striving to secure bookings in the logic or specialty devices and advanced packaging sectors.
Adding to the industry’s woes, the geopolitical situation is creating further obstacles for US, European, and Japanese equipment vendors, as it hampers lucrative regional shipments. Consequently, certain process technologies, such as etch and clean, deposition, ion implantation, metrology, and inspection, have shown substantial revenue declines when compared quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). However, one exception to this trend is the patterning segment, which is anticipated to experience a positive YoY revenue growth of around 24% in 2023.
On a brighter note, the service and support revenue stream is showing steady growth at 1% YoY, supported by an annual increase in the installed base of approximately 6% YoY.