Fab equipment spending saw a drastic dip in 2H12 and 1Q13 is expected to be even lower, says SEMI, which reckons that the projected number of facilities equipping will drop from 212 in 2012 to 182 in 2013.
Spending on fab equipment for System LSI is expected to drop in 2013. Spending for Flash declined rapidly in 2H12 (by over 40 %) but is expected to pick up by 2H13. The foundry sector is expected to increase spending in 2013, led by major player TSMC, as well as Samsung and Global foundries.
While fab construction spending slowed in 2012, at -15%, SEMI projects an increase of 3.7 % in 2013 (from $5.6bn in 2012 to $5.8bn in 2013).
The report tracks 34 fab construction projects for 2013 (down from 51 in 2012). An additional 10 new construction projects with various probabilities may start in 2013. The largest increase for construction spending in 2013 is expected to be for dedicated foundries and Flash related facilities.
Many device manufacturers are hesitating to add capacity due to declining average selling prices and high inventories.
However SEMI reckons flash capacity will grow 6% by mid-2013, with nearly 6 % growth, adding over 70,000wpm.
SEMI also foresees a rapid increase of installed capacity for new technology nodes, not only for 28nm but also from 24nm to 18nm and first ramps for 17nm to 13nm in 2013.
SEMI cautiously forecasts fab equipment spending in 2013 to range from minus 5 to plus 3.