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SEMI hangs hope of equipment sales growth from NAND flash, foundries and packaging firms

01 December 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Wafer Processing

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Placing hope of a rebound in semiconductor equipment sales in 2010, SEMI is forecasting the equipment sector sales to increase by 53% in 2010 to US$24.5 billion and grow a further 28% in 2011 to US$31.2 billion. However, growth in 2010 is being pegged against increase spending from NAND flash producers, pure-play foundries and from the packaging sector. SEMI now expects that after a 31% decline in equipment sales in 2008, the equipment sector will post another significant decline of approximately 46% in 2009.

"Worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales have declined to the lowest annual levels since 1994 as the global economic crisis and industry downturn caused the world’s chip makers to significantly curtail spending and expansion,” said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI.  “There has been recent improvement in equipment bookings and we anticipate a significant growth off the bottom with expectations of double-digit growth in the next two years.”

With spending in the front-end sector already being focused on technology buys rather than capacity expansions in 2010, it is difficult to reconcile SEMI’s figures with current trends or forecasts from market research firms such as Gartner. The independent market research firm had previously noted that it expected growth in 2010 but as with the case of the wafer fab equipment (WFE) sector, growth would be in line with expected overall growth in capital spending, which it projects will increase by 38.3% in 2010, rather than SEMI’s figure of 54%.

However, SEMI and Gartner figures for growth in 2011 are very much in alignment. SEMI projects WFE growth of 28% in 2011 to reach US$23.6 billion. Gartner has US$23.9 billion in 2011, an increase of 42.8% over 2010, with sales of US$16.779 billion.

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