Global semiconductor equipment sales on track to top US$100 billion in 2021, says SEMI

Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

Global sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment by original equipment manufacturers are forecast to reach a new high of US$103 billion in 2021, surging 44.7% from the previous industry record of US$71 billion in 2020, according to SEMI. The growth is expected to continue with the global total semiconductor manufacturing equipment market expanding to US$114 billion by 2022.

"Crossing the US$100 billion mark in total semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales reflects the global semiconductor industry's concerted and exceptional drive to expand capacity to meet strong demand," said Ajit Manocha, SEMI president and CEO. "We expect continuing investments in the digital infrastructure buildout and secular trends across multiple end markets to fuel healthy growth in 2022."

Both the front-end (wafer fab) and back-end (assembly/packaging and test) semiconductor equipment segments are contributing to the global expansion, SEMI said. The wafer fab equipment segment, which includes wafer processing, fab facilities and mask/reticle equipment, is projected to expand 43.8% to a new industry record of US$88 billion in 2021, followed by a 12.4% increase in 2022 to approximately US$99 billion. Wafer fab equipment in 2023 is expected to decrease slightly by 0.5% to US$98.4 billion.

The foundry and logic segments, accounting for more than half of total wafer fab equipment sales, will surge 50% on year to reach US$49.3 billion in 2021 driven by demand for both leading-edge and mature nodes, SEMI indicated. The growth momentum is expected to continue in 2022 with the foundry and logic equipment investments rising 17%.

Strong enterprise and consumer demand for memory and storage is contributing to strength in DRAM and NAND equipment spending, SEMI noted. The DRAM equipment segment is leading the expansion in 2021 surging 52% to US$15.1 billion and growing 1% in 2022 to US$15.3 billion. The NAND equipment market is projected to jump 24% in 2021 to US$19.2 billion and 8% in 2022 to US$20.6 billion. Expenditures are expected to drop by 2% and 3% in 2023 for DRAM and NAND, respectively.

After seeing robust 33.8% growth in 2020, the assembly and packaging equipment segment is expected to surge by 81.7% to US$7 billion in 2021, followed by another 4.4% increase in 2022 driven by advanced packaging applications, SEMI said. The semiconductor test equipment market is expected to grow 29.6% in 2021 to US$7.8 billion and continue to expand by 4.9% in 2022 on demand for 5G and high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

Regionally, China, Korea, and Taiwan are projected to remain the top three destinations for equipment spending in 2021, according to SEMI. China is projected to maintain the top position, which it claimed for the first time in 2020, while Taiwan is expected to regain the top position in the market in 2022 and 2023. Equipment spending for all regions tracked are expected to grow in 2021 and 2022.