SEMI Forecasts 2012 Semiconductor Equipment Sales

December 4, 2012. SEMI projects that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment will reach $38.2 billion in 2012, according to the year-end SEMI Semiconductor Equipment Consensus Forecast, released today at the annual SEMICON Japan exposition. Following a multi-year expansion period, semiconductor equipment sales are expected to moderate before posting low double-digit growth in 2014.

After a 151% market increase in 2010 and a 9.0% increase in 2011, the equipment market is expected to contract by 12.2% in 2012. Growth is expected in just two regions in 2012—Taiwan (12.7% increase over 2011) and South Korea (10.7% increase). In 2012, Taiwan and South Korea each will reach equipment sales of $9.6 billion, with North American sales totaling $8.0 billion. Rest of World (ROW), Europe, and Japan are the most negatively impacted in 2012.

In 2013, China, Taiwan and Japan are expected to have slight to moderate positive growth. While the overall 2013 forecast indicates another 2.1% reduction in sales, 2014 sales are expected to rebound—increasing 12.5% with all regions increasing sales.

“Sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in 2012 reflect significant investments over the prior two years, normal patterns of industry cyclicality, and a slowdown in the broader economy,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “What’s more important is that technology investments at the advanced nodes and in leading-edge packaging remain important drivers, and when market confidence returns, we expect capacity investments to increase.”

Wafer processing equipment, the largest product segment by dollar value, is expected to decrease 14.8% in 2012 to $29.3 billion, and remain at approximately that same level in 2013. The forecast predicts that the market for assembly and packaging equipment will decline by 5.1% to $3.2 billion in 2012. The market for semiconductor test equipment is forecasted to decline by 4.8%, reaching $3.6 billion this year.On the positive side, the “Other Front End” category (fab facilities, mask/reticle, and wafer manufacturing equipment) is expected in increase 6.3% in 2012.

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