New Semiconductor Fabs to Spur Surge In Equipment SpendingJune 23, 2021 | SEMI
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Semiconductor manufacturers worldwide will have started construction on 19 new high-volume fabs by the end of this year and break ground on another 10 in 2022 to meet accelerating demand for chips across a wide range of markets including communications, computing, healthcare, online services and automotive, SEMI highlighted in its quarterly World Fab Forecast report.
“Equipment spending for these 29 fabs is expected to surpass $140 billion over the next few years as the industry pushes to address the global chip shortage,” said Ajit Manocha, SEMI president and CEO. “In the medium and longer term, the fab capacity expansion will help meet projected strong demand for semiconductors stemming from emerging applications such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and 5G to 6G communications.”
China and Taiwan will lead the way in the new fab construction starts with eight each, followed by the Americas with six, Europe/Mideast with three, Japan and Korea with two each (Figure 1). Fabs that produce 300mm wafers will account for most of the new facilities – 15 – in 2021 and again in 2022, when seven fabs will begin construction. The remaining seven fabs planned over the two-year period will be 100mm, 150mm and 200mm facilities. The 29 fabs could produce as many as 2.6 million wafers per month (in 200mm equivalents).
Despite being a leader in R&D investment in semiconductors and packaging with greater than $50 billion per year, the U.S. has seen its market share decrease to less than 3% in areas like advanced packaging and advanced substrates. The cause for this market share erosion was a laser focus in Asian countries to attract semiconductors and advanced packaging investment through ecosystem development and incentives. If the U.S. is serious about changing the momentum to onshore advanced packaging and advanced substrates, an ecosystem approach to innovation and manufacturing incentives must be employed. It is not enough to have the most innovative technology if the supply chain and manufacturing economics do not deliver competitive commercial opportunities.
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