While many companies, including Intel, Micron, Toshiba (and Western Digital), and Globalfoundries increased fab investments for 2017 and 2018, the strong increase reflects spending by just two companies and primarily one region.
SEMI data shows a surge of investments in Korea, due primarily to Samsung, which is expected to increase its fab equipment spending by 128% in 2017, from $8bn to $18bn. SK Hynix also increased fab equipment spending, by about 70%, to $5.5bn, the largest spending level in its history.
While the majority of Samsung and SK Hynix spending remains in Korea, some will take place in China and the US. Both Samsung and SK Hynix are expected to maintain high levels of investments in 2018.
In 2018, China is expected to begin equipping many fabs constructed in 2017. In the past, non-Chinese companies accounted for most fab investments in China. For the first time, in 2018 Chinese-owned device manufacturers will approach parity, spending nearly as much on fab equipment as their non-Chinese counterparts.
In 2018, Chinese-owned companies are expected to invest about $5.8bn, while non-Chinese will invest $6.7bn. Many new companies such as Yangtze Memory Technology, Fujian Jin Hua, Hua Li, and Hefei Chang Xin Memory are investing heavily in the region.
Historic highs in equipment spending in 2017 and 2018 reflect growing demand for advanced devices, reports SEMI. This spending follows unprecedented growth in construction spending for new fabs also detailed in the World Fab Forecast .
Construction spending will reach all-time highs with China construction spending taking the lead at $6bn in 2017 and $6.6bn in 2018, establishing another record: no region has ever spent more than $6bn in a single year for construction.