October 1, 2012 7:51:54 pm
Worldwide wafer fab equipment (WFE) spending is on pace to total USD 31.4 billion in 2012,a decline of 13.3 per cent from the previous calendar year figure of USD 36.2 billion,according to Gartner,Inc.
While the market will improve in 2013,it will not return to positive growth,with WFE spending projected to total USD 31.2 billion,a 0.8 per cent decline from 2012,it said.
In 2014,the market returns to growth,as it is projected to increase 15.3 per cent to surpass USD 35.9 billion,the technology researcher said.
“The outlook for semiconductor equipment markets has deteriorated as the macro economy has weakened,” said Bob Johnson,research Vice President at Gartner.
“WFE started off the year strong,as foundries and other logic manufacturers ramped up sub-30-nm (nanometre) production. However,demand for new equipment logic production will soften as yields improve,leading to declining shipment volumes for the rest of the year.”
Wafer fab manufacturing capacity utilisation will decline into the low 80 per cent range by the end of 2012 before slowly increasing to about 87 per cent by the end of 2013,according to a Gartner statement.
Leading-edge utilisation will return to the high 80 per cent range by the second half of 2012,and move into the low 90 per cent range through 2013,providing for a somewhat positive capital investment environment.
Foundry capital spending has been revised downward for 2012 and 2013 due to an earlier yield improvement on 28 nm technology achieved by some foundries and a higher downside risk of wafer demand in the fourth quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013.
However,foundry capital expenditure (capex) is revised upward for future years due to the more aggressive development schedule of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and 450 mm.
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