Global 300mm fab equipment spending to resume growth track in 2024

Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Global 300mm fab equipment spending for front-end facilities next year is expected to begin a growth streak to a US$119 billion record high in 2026, following a decline in 2023, according to SEMI. Strong demand for high-performance computing, automotive applications and improved demand for memory will fuel double-digit spending in equipment investments over the three-year period.

After the projected 18% drop to US$74 billion this year, global 300mm fab equipment spending is forecast to rise 12% to US$US82 billion in 2024, 24% to US$101.9 billion in 2025 and 17% to US$118.8 billion in 2026.

"The projected equipment spending growth wave underscores the strong secular demand for semiconductors," said Ajit Manocha, SEMI president and CEO. "The foundry and memory sectors will figure prominently in this expansion, pointing to demand for chips across a wide breadth of end markets and applications."

Foundry is projected to lead other segments in equipment spending at US$62.1 billion in 2026, an increase from US$44.6 billion in 2023, followed by memory at US$42.9 billion, a 170% increase from 2023, according to SEMI. Analog spending is forecast to increase from US$5 billion this year to US$6.2 billion in 2026. The microprocessor/microcontroller, discrete (mainly power devices), and optoelectronics segments are expected to see spending declines in 2026, while investments in logic are forecast to rise.

South Korea is expected to lead global 300mm fab equipment spending in 2026 with US$30.2 billion in investments, nearly doubling from US$15.7 billion in 2023, according to SEMI. Taiwan is forecast to invest US$23.8 billion in 2026, up from US$22.4 billion this year, and China is projected to log US$16.1 billion in spending in 2026.

In a separate release, SEMI disclosed that Taiwan remained the world's largest consumer of semiconductor materials in 2022, thanks to the country's robust foundry capacity and advanced packaging base. China continued to register strong year-over-year results, ranking second in 2022, while Korea finished as the third largest consumer of semiconductor materials. Most regions registered high single- or double-digit growth last year.

Global semiconductor materials market revenue grew 8.9% to US$72.7 billion in 2022, surpassing the previous market high of US$66.8 billion set in 2021, according to SEMI. Taiwan, at US$20,1 billion, was the biggest consumer of semiconductor materials for the thirteenth consecutive year.