Chipmaking spend will drop 12% in NA, but grow globally

The global market for chipmaking equipment is on the plus side for 2020, but down in North America. China is by far the largest in spending for chip manufacturing gear. (Getty Images)

Chip manufacturing spending globally on wafer fab and other equipment is expected to grow by 6% in 2020, then increase again in 2021 to a record level.

But in North America, spending will drop 12% in 2020, before rising again some in 2021.

The total global sector will reach $63.2 billion a 2020, up from $59.6 billion in 2019, according to mid-year forecast by the trade group SEMI, which includes 2,400 member companies. For 2021, the industry will spend a record $70 billion.

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In North America, spending in 2020 will drop to $7.1 billion from $8.1 billion in 2019, then resurge to $7.3 billion in 2021—still behind 2019 levels.

Globally, wafer fab equipment is expected to increase by 5% in 2020, then jump 13% in 2021 because of a recovery in memory spending and other investments.  Foundry and logic spending, about half of all wafer fab equipment sales will see single digit increases this year and next. 

Meanwhile, both DRAM and NAND spending will exceed 2019 levels, then grow another 20% in 2021.

Equipment for assembly and packaging will grow 10% to reach $3.2 billion in 2020 and 8% again to $3.4 billion in 2021.  Semi test equipment will increase 13% to $5.7 billion in 2020, then continue growing in 2021 because of 5G demand.

Globally, leaders in spending in 2020 will be China, Taiwan and Korea. China is expected to reach $17.3 billion in spending in 2020, up 24% from $13.4 billion in 2019.  China will drop back in 2021 to 16.6 billion according to the SEMI forecast.

In 2021, Korea and Taiwan will nearly tie China, with spending of $15.9 billion apiece.  Each of the three countries will more than double North American spending in 2021.

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