MILPITAS, CA – The semiconductor industry is nearing a third consecutive year of record equipment spending, with projected growth of 14% year-over-year in 2018 and 9% in 2019, according to SEMI.

Over the semiconductor industry’s 71-year history, only once before – in the mid ‘90s – has the industry logged four consecutive years of equipment spending growth, says the firm.

Korea and China are leading the growth, with Samsung dominating global spending and China on a fast, steep rise, surging ahead of all other markets, says SEMI.

While Samsung is expected to reduce equipment investments in 2018, the company still accounts for 70% of all investment in Korea. At the same time, SK Hynix is increasing its equipment spending in Korea.

China’s equipment spending is forecast to increase 65% in 2018 and 57% in 2019.  Notably, 58% of investments in China in 2018 and 56% in 2019 stem from companies with headquarters in other regions, such as Intel, SK Hynix, TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries. Domestic, Chinese-owned companies – backed by large government initiatives – are building a considerable number of new fabs that will start equipping in 2018. The companies are expected to double their equipment investments in 2018 and again in 2019.

Other regions are also ramping investments. Japan is increasing equipment spending 60% in 2018, with the largest increases by Toshiba, Sony, Renesas and Micron.

The Europe and Mideastern region will boost investments 12% this year, with Intel, GlobalFoundries, Infineon and STMicroelectronics the largest contributors.

Southeast Asia will boost investments more than 30% in 2018, although total spending is proportionately smaller than in other regions owing to its size. The main contributors are Micron, Infineon and GlobalFoundries, though companies including OSRAM and ams are also increasing investments.

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