MILPITAS, CA – Soaring pandemic-inspired demand for chips that power everything from communications and IT infrastructures to personal computing, gaming and healthcare electronics will drive an 8% increase in global fab equipment spending in 2020 and a 13% increase in 2021, according to SEMI. Rising demand for semiconductors for data center infrastructures and server storage, along with the buildup of safety stock as US-China trade tensions intensify, is also contributing to this year’s growth.

The bullish trend for overall fab equipment investments comes as the semiconductor industry recovers from a 9% decline in fab spending in 2019 and navigates a roller-coaster 2020 with actual and projected spending drops in the first and third quarters, mixed with second- and fourth-quarter increases, the firm says.

Of all chip sectors, memory will see the largest spending increase in 2020, growing 16% year-over-year to $26.4 billion. Tack on an 18% increase to reach $31.2 billion in 2021. 3D NAND spending will log the largest percentage surge this year, expanding 39%, and register modest growth of 7% in 2021. DRAM is expected to see 4% growth after a slowdown in the second half of 2020 before jumping 39% percent next year.

Foundry, the next largest sector in equipment spending for 2020, is forecast to rise 12% to $23.2 billion and edge up 2% to $23.5 billion in 2021. MPU equipment spending will decline $1.2 billion, or 18%, in 2020 and rise 9% to $6 billion in 2021. Analog spending will grow 48% in 2020 and rise 6% in 2021, an expansion chiefly driven by equipment investments for mixed-signal/power fabs. Image sensor equipment spending is expected to rise 4% to $3 billion in 2020 and jump 11% to $3.4 billion in 2021.

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