MILPITAS, CA — Global fab equipment spending for frontend facilities is expected to rise 10% year-over-year in 2022 to an all-time high of more than $98 billion, marking a third consecutive year of growth, according to SEMI.

The fab equipment spending increase in 2022 would follow a 39% jump in 2021 and 17% in 2020. The industry last saw three consecutive years of growth from 2016 to 2018, more than 20 years after logging a three-year run in the mid-1990s.

“The semiconductor equipment industry has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth, with increased spending in six of the past seven years, as chipmakers expand capacity to meet secular demand for a wide range of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, autonomous machines and quantum computing,” said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO, SEMI. “The capacity buildout extends beyond the robust demand during the pandemic for electronics vital for remote work and learning, telehealth and other applications.”

The foundry sector is expected to account for 46% of total spending in 2022, a 13% year-over-year increase, followed by memory at 37%, a slight dip from 2021. In memory segments, spending for DRAM is forecast to decline, while expenditures for 3-D NAND will edge higher.

Microcontroller (with MPU) spending is expected to register a 47% surge this year. Power-related devices are also projected to show strong growth of 33%.

Korea is expected to rank at the top of equipment spending, followed by Taiwan and China, combining to account for 73% of all fab equipment spending in 2022.

After a dramatic increase in 2021, fab equipment spending in Taiwan is expected to rise at least 14% this year. Spending in Korea also showed a sharp increase in 2021 and is projected to climb 14% in 2022. China is expected to decrease spending 20%.

Europe/Mideast, the next largest spending region in 2022, is projected to see 145% growth for the year. Japan is expected to grow 29%.

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