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Semiconductor equipment spending set for rebound, says Gartner

14 September 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Wafer Processing

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According to the latest report from Gartner, the bottom in capital equipment spending occurred in the second quarter of 2009 and is expected to rebound strongly in the current third quarter. Overall growth is also expected to return in 2010, rebounding by 34.3%, the market research firm said. Worldwide capital equipment spending will grow 47.3% in the second half of 2009. However the market will be down 47.9% compared to 2008 due to the drastic cut in CapEx seen in the first half of the year. Gartner expects spending to increase 41.6% for the third quarter, followed by 18.5% growth in the fourth quarter. Spending will be driven by Intel, Samsung and TSMC.

"Equipment purchases for the remainder of 2009 and the first half of 2010 will be mostly technology buys, as memory companies get ready for copper implementation, and double patterning for critical geometries in the 5x nm and 4x nm generations," said Dean Freeman, Research Vice President at Gartner. "Capacity will begin to ramp in the second half of 2010 as businesses and consumers begin to open up their pocket books to purchase electronic goods, and more consistent semiconductor growth should be occurring worldwide."

Worldwide wafer fab equipment (WFE) spending is expected to decrease 48.8% in 2009. In 2010, Gartner expects WFE spending to increase 38.3%, which is inline with expected overall growth in capital spending. However, spending in 2010 is expected to second-half year loaded as market demand recovers as the economic crisis eases.

Gertner expects capital spending to continue for three years, with semiconductor equipment sales peaking in 2012 at US$36.4 billion.

Overcapacity in the memory markets is expected to return in 2013, ending the run-up in spending. The revenue peak in 2012 will not surpass the 2007 revenue peak.

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